Gender Roles In Boys And Girls By Alice Munro

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“Boys and Girls” by Alice Munro is a story that is set in the period immediately following World War II. Every aspect of the story, from the plot and narration to the figurative language makes the story one of gender and gender roles in society. The protagonist in the story is a young girl who is growing up on a fox farm who tells the story of the sometimes exciting and sometimes tedious work of running a farm in which foxes are raised for their fur. The young girl lives with her father who runs the farm, along with her mother who handles the housework on the farm, and her younger brother.
The narration and setting are used together at the beginning of the story to frame the issue of gender. For the first few paragraphs of the story, there is no indication that the narrator is a girl. Instead, the narrator describes her responsibilities of ensuring that the wolves have food and water, and of watching her father and their hired hand on the farm remove the fur from the dead wolves. It is only after the young girl describes how she was referred to as a little girl by a salesman who visited the farm that the reader learns that the person telling the story, and doing
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The young girl describes the barn as being an exciting place where important work of caring for horses occurs. In contrast, she describes the house as being a blame in which dull and unimportant work occurs. In her descriptions of the barn and the house, she places her father, with descriptions of blood on his clothes in the barn, while placing her mother, with a description of white legs that have seen no sun and a wet apron, in the farmhouse. In fact, the language with which the young girl describes her mother’s white legs is not just a description of how her mother has little time to leave the house, but really figurative language for describing how she views doing housework as a sign of
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