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Girls And Boys

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There has always been a stereotypical view of how men and women should act in society and what their specific jobs are. The story "Boys and Girls", by Alice Munro, reflects these gender roles in a society where men and women are not equal. This story is told through an adolescents eyes who is going through dramatic changes in her life, and is struggling between being a child and becoming a women. The narrator of this story succeeds in escaping the gender role that is being imposed on her, by not refusing to become a young lady, but becoming a young lady when she is ready for the transition.

In the beginning of the story there are many things that protray the narrators feelings about the different roles men and women play in the society. In the young narrators eyes men have a more dominate role in life, they work outdoors and bring in income for the family. The narrator values the work her father does and prides being called her fathers helping hand. For example, "... a salesman came down ... to talk to him and my father said, '[l] ike to have you meet my new hired man.' I turned away ... red in the face with pleasure". She is red in the face with pleasure because she is happy that her father would consider her as one of the boys or even more a helping hand in the male world. The narrator of this story adores her father and even more the masculine world he is apart of. This makes it difficult for the young girl to accept her identity in being a girl.

The narrator of the story struggles to be apart of the male world for the only fact that she is a girl and everyone around expects her to fulfill the role of being a women. She is hates being inside helping her mother do chores and describes the house work as "dreary" and "peculiarly depressing". At night when everyone is a sleep the narrator finds herself making up stories in her head of fighting, shooting and rescuing, where she of course is the rescuer: "they took place in a world that was . . . mine, yet one [with]. . . opportunities for courage, boldness and self-sacrifice . . . I rescued people from a bombed building . . . I shot rabid wolves. . ." These stories show courage and bravery and are what you would expect to here from a young man and would have been considered inappropriate for a young girl to fantasise about. These stories that the young girl makes up are just another example of how the narrator longs to be apart of the masculine world.

However, the story takes a turning point the narrator suddenly, feels "a sense of holding off" towards her father and his work. This shows that the narrator is starting to move away from the masculine world and move towards the feminie world. This transition to the feminie world is also shown by the way she



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