Alice Munro 's Boys And Girls Essay
In Alice Munro’s “Boys and Girls” she tells a story about a young girl’s resistance to womanhood in a society infested with gender roles and stereotypes. The story takes place in the 1940s on a fox farm outside of Jubilee, Ontario, Canada. During this time, women were viewed as second class citizens, but the narrator was not going to accept this position without a fight.
Munro’s invention of an unnamed character symbolized the narrator’s lack of identity, compared to her younger brother, who was given the name Laird, which is a synonym for “Lord”. These names were given purposely by Munro to represent how at birth the male child was naturally considered superior to his sister.
The father in the story was a fox farmer. He raised foxes and when their fur was prime, he skinned them and sold their pelts for profit. Growing up, “the girl” sought for attention from her father, therefore, she began to enjoy helping him work outside with the foxes. “My father did not talk to me unless it was about the job we were doing … Nevertheless I worked willingly under his eyes, and with a feeling of pride.” Consequently, she began to dread working in the kitchen with her mother, and thus loss respect for her mother’s subservient position in the household. When describing her mother’s housework it was “endless” compared to her father’s work outside, which was “ritualistically important.” This obvious resentment for society’s womanly duties symbolizes the…