Gender Inequality In Boys And Girls By Alice Munro

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The short story called Boys and Girls, written by Alice Munro show society’s unwritten rule about gender inequality. Throughout the story, the narrator plays the role of a tough girl who tries to get her father’s attention by helping out on the fox farm. The narrator’s dad takes the horse out back and shoots it so he can use the meat for the foxes. The father tells her to stay behind, but instead of listening to her father, she decides to talk her little brother, named Laird, into watching their dad shoot the horse. After the dreadful scene of the horse’s death, the narrator feels sorry for having her brother watch the horse get shot and is afraid it would affect him. Incidentally, the horse’s death did not affect her brother; it affected her. …show more content…
Therefore, the parents have specific roles that relate to genders. The parents are trying to get this girl who is becoming a young lady to take more roles with a woman’s work around the house just as her mother does. The girl would rather be outside with her father; however, when her brother Laird is old enough to do farm work the father relies on her brother more than her. Harman and Wilson state that “language is the primary means through which we understand the world and our place on it” (110). This statement relates to the story because the mother and father are making the daughter have certain roles that they believe women should have by telling her she needs to be in the house working not on the farm. Also, the father belittles his daughter through language a makes her think about her place in society when the narrator states “I didn’t protest that, even in my heart. Maybe it was true” (Munro 147). This statement is what she thinks after her father says “she’s just a girl” (Munro 147). At that moment, she realizes her place as a girl in society.
Another language issue in “Boys and Girls” relates to the concepts brought up in Beyond Grammar Language, Power and the Classroom written by Mary R. Harmon and Marilyn J. Wilson, which is the power of names as a gender issue. The story never tells what the narrator’s name is, but the brother 's name is Laird, which means Lord in Scottish. Lord is a name that represents power. Throughout the story, Laird represents a stronger person than his sister, even though he is younger than her. He has more power as a boy on the farm and in the eyes of his

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