Boys And Girls Character Analysis

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Family Relationships in “Boys and Girls” by Alice Munro and “Responsibility” by Russell Smith Families both modern and past share the commonality of complex and complicated relationships between their members. These relationships may be founded on love and support while others may have disappointment and a lack of understanding. While there exist some differences in the parent-child dynamic in “Boys and Girls” by Alice Munro and Russell Smith’s “Responsibilities”, they are similar in the child’s wariness of their parent’s choices, their personal struggles to accept their own paths in life, and the adult’s understanding of those choices and their subsequent disappointment in them. Many children find themselves wary of following too closely in their parent’s footsteps, and the children in these short stories are no exception. Although the narrator in Munro’s story originally looks up to her father, after she witnesses the nonchalant and businesslike way that he slaughters a horse, she states that…show more content…
When the narrator makes the choice to open the gate for the horse, she knows that when her “father [finds] out about it was not going to trust [her] anymore, he would know that [she] was not entirely on his side” (Munro 33). Her father understands that through her actions she has chosen to be on the “girl” side. This decision disappoints him and he “made a curt sound of disgust” (Munro 35) upon hearing the news. In the same manner, the mother in “Responsibility” speaks “as if in physical distress” (Smith 43) when she accuses her son of not being nice. She can see him as only a mother can, and does not like what she sees. In both stories, the children acknowledge and accept what their parents see, James accepting that he is not a nice person and Munro’s protagonist doesn’t protest when her father calls her “”just a girl” (Munro
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