Boys And Girls Summary

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The short story “Boys and Girls” by Alice Munro is narrated by an unnamed young girl who talks about life on her family’s fox farm where she lives with her parents and younger brother. She undeniably prefers working outside with her father on the chores and tending to the foxes instead of working in the house with her mother. Throughout the story there are subtle and obvious indications of the differences in and expectations of boys and girls. The narrator clearly demonstrates her preference to the role of a boy, but it wasn’t as if she was given the choice to not conform to society’s and her family’s expectations of a girl. Notably, the roles of men vs. women were clearly defined and differentiated within this story using the narrator’s…show more content…
In the beginning, she told herself stories of how she was a hero, rode horses and shot expertly. In these stories she “rescued people from bombed buildings” and shot “rabid wolves” as others were too terrified to act (p. 402). Later, the stories portrayed her as the person being rescued and were overwhelmed with details of her hair, her dresses and her overall appearance. She had also tried to make her “part of the room fancy” by making a lace bed cover and adding a dressing table (p. 411). The final acknowledgement of this change manifested when it came time for her father to slaughter Flora, who was an energetic horse that had been confine by her father waiting for him to need meat for the foxes. Rebelling against what she knew was coming; Flora escaped the coral and ran towards the narrator and the gate. Instead of obeying her father’s shout to secure the gate, the narrator opened the gate to let Flora escape the farm in the way she always wanted to. Then, when she thought she would be punished for defying her father, he made the ultimate declaration by absolving her of her actions as he stated “Shes’ only a girl” (p. 412). This simple statement meant she would not be punished for not closing the gate, but in actuality it was condemning her to a life of imprisonment in the house as a
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