Comparison Of Borders By Thomas King And Boys And Girls By Alice Munro

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A boundary is a line, physical or imaginary, that separates two entities. Both “Borders” by Thomas King and “Boys and Girls” by Alice Munro employ boundaries to create the theme of how the rules, roles, and expectations set by society act as the boundaries that isolate us, and stop us from being who we want to be. “Borders” focuses on the hardships of aboriginal people and how where you are from affects how you are treated; “Boys and Girls” shows the struggle of women and how gender can be used to define you. In both stories, boundaries are set in order to keep people things from freely roaming about, limiting their ability to move freely. Moreover, they keep the characters from traveling outside their own roles and expectations. Only a…show more content…
Yet it is explored differently by each story. From the title, “Borders,” it is clear that King wanted to put emphasis on the borders that are present in the story. While the first border is clear, the physical border separating American and Canada; the second is more obscure, it is the metaphorical border separating one’s identity to one’s citizenship. The theme is built more around the second border. The mother is a proud Blackfoot, this is evident by her unwavering spirit when attempting to pass through the borders. Each time she is asked who she is and where she’s from she replies simply: “Blackfoot,” her identity is quite tied with where she is from, however, at the border those who are Blackfoot are expected to resign to being from America or Canada. The woman at the Canadian border says to the mother: “ ‘and I’d be proud of being Blackfoot if I were Blackfoot. But you have to be American or Canadian.’ ” In order to pass through the border, one must meet society’s expectations, and by being Blackfoot and not meeting that expectation, they are exiled and isolated until they reform, or the rules and expectations of the society are challenged and changed. “Boys and Girls” puts its focus on gender roles and how when you are born, you are free to do and act as you wish, though as you age, depending on

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