Gender Norms In Boys And Girls By Alice Munro

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Attempts to be different and disregard gender norms presents a character to be brave and stimulate, not only internal, but external conflict within a story. Alice Munro produces “Boys and Girls” in which the narrator represents the main character and the tomboy archetype. With that, the narrator enjoys working alongside her father outdoors versus working indoors alongside her mother. Oppressive factors surround the narrator throughout the story. In “Boys and Girls,” a rowdy, retired horse and the tomboyish narrator share correlating, righteous personalities thus mirroring and representing each other. Also, there is evidence of oppressive factors the narrator and the horse act to resist against their supposed norms – a domestic female and worn…show more content…
The narrator’s mentality that she holds more than half way through the story represents ‘rebellion’ in itself without even mentioning the scene with Flora. Seeing where she invests her time causes her mother and grandmother to attempt to impose the typical attitudes and practices that a girl must follow onto the narrator. The narrator resists and continues to “slam the doors and sit as awkwardly as possible” (Munro 150). Some characters, like Laird, are ignorant to the resistance that the narrator characterizes, but still opposes her force of resistance unconsciously. For example, a brawl occurs between the narrator and Laird and “for the first time ever…he [catches and pins her] arm for a moment, really hurting [her]” (Munro 149). By now showing the ability to physically overpower her foreshadows to Laird’s ability to overpower her in other aspects like the role in the house because boys are stereotypically seen to be the head of the house. Eventually, the narrator submits to this domestic role. Before the climax of the story, her imaginative stories tell of the narrator being a rescuer to other people’s endangerments, right after the narrator initially processes her act of rebellion, she then goes on to discuss that in her stories now, “somebody else would be rescuing [her]…such as: “a boy from [her] class, or even Mr. Campbell, [her] teacher who tickled girls under the arms” (Munro 154). A last piece of support to this tragic conclusion is her last line after her father states that the narrator is only a girl: “I didn’t protest that, even in my heart. Maybe it was true” (Munro

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