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Day Of the Butterfly
Transcript of Day Of the Butterfly
By Alice Munro Miranda James "The Day of The Butterfly" is about a young girl, Helen and her encounters with another girl, Myra. Myra does not have any friends besides her younger brother Jimmy. She must help him go to the washroom and if he does not make it in time, take him home and clean him up. Myra spends recess with Jimmy, standing in the little back porch between the girls and boys' sides of the playground.
One day when Helen is walking to school, she sees Myra and Jimmy. Every so often Myra turns around looking at Helen. This flatters Helen, so she calls her name and offers some of her cracker jacks to Myra. Myra finds a blue butterfly brooch at the bottom of the box and Helen gives it to her. During this time they talk and learn a lot about each other.
The day after that, Myra is not at school, this continues for a couple of weeks. The class finds out Myra is sick in the hospital and the teacher, Miss Darling, suggests they throw a birthday party in March for Myra, although her birthday is in July. 15 girls from the class go to the hospital with pretty dresses on and gifts in their hands for Myra. They all have cake, but are soon forced to leave because visiting hours are up. As the girls leave Myra calls Helen back into the room. She makes Helen take one of the gifts because she received too many and invites her to come play when she is feeling better and out of the hospital. Helen has to leave remembering Myra in her hospital bed, picturing her standing in the back porch of the school. Plot The Conflict of "Day of The Butterfly is the misunderstanding of people. This conflict is first shown at the beginning of the story when Jimmy wets himself. He needs Myra's help to take him home but Miss Darling does not allow it. Miss Darling does not understand Jimmy's embarrassment and Myra just wants to help her little brother.
The second evidence of the conflict is the girls in the grade 6 class do not understand why Myra spends every recess with her brother and not with the rest of them. Myra is excluded from the rest of the girls, Miss Darling tries to fix it by telling the girls to play with her, but nothing changes.
The conflict is shown for a third time when the class finds out about Myra's illness. Since the children are only in grade 6, with most only 11 years old, they do not understand the seriousness of her illness. Myra has leukemia (A type of cancer of the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal increase of immature white blood cells. - Carson, J, 2012) and has already had a blood transfusion (The process of receiving blood products into one's circulation intravenously - Carson, J, 2012)
The forth evidence of the conflict is the party for Myra. Despite her birthday being in July, Miss Darling decides it is a good idea to throw Myra a birthday in March because she knows she may not still be alive for her birthday. Helen and Myra misunderstand the reason for the party, but it is difficult for Miss Darling to say the actual reason for the party.
Miss Darling doesn't understand that Myra does not want the party in March and would just appreciate Helen to come and visit. Everyone believes they are doing the right thing but just don't think through their ideas. Conflict Theme The Climax in the story is the moment Helen decides to walk with Myra and Jimmy when she sees them early one morning walking to school. Helen is flattered Myra is walking slowly and half turning around, knowing she wants to walk with her but is not brave enough to do so. Helen referred them to, "Humble, hopeful turnings," (p.236) Helen is afraid to walk with Myra because she believes it will ruin her reputation with the rest of the grade 6 girls. Since Helen is a nice, caring girl, she calls to Myra that day and offers her some of her cracker jacks. This is the climax of the story because the reader is first shown of Myra's true self. She is just another girl, just like Helen. Climax Throughout the story Myra does not have any friends, only her brother Jimmy, No girls in the grade 6 class are nice to her or try to befriend her. Myra is forced to spend every recess standing in the little back porch between the girls and boys' sides of the playground. Helen is the first girl to be nice to Myra when she walks with her, offers her cracker jacks and the butterfly brooch Myra finds at the bottom of the box. The problem with Myra not befriending other girls is finally resolved when the party is created for her birthday in the hospital. All he girls are suddenly fascinated by Myra and want to buy her expensive gifts and write her cards. Myra finally accepts their kindness when she calls Helen back into her room and offers her one of her many gifts. She appreciates Helen's friendship and caring attitude when she finally understands her. This resolves the conflict of misunderstanding others in the story. Resolution Story Symbols The main symbol in the story is a butterfly. When Helen walks with Myra that one day and offers her some of her cracker jacks, Myra finds a butterfly brooch in the box. Myra tries to make Helen keep it but she refuses. A butterfly represents Myra, shy, quiet, peaceful, unnoticed and could never harm a soul. The butterfly and Myra both have short lives. A butterfly is known to live for about 20-40 days, with the longest lasting a year. Myra is just a child, yet her life must end so quickly because she is diagnosed with leukemia. Although they are not around for very long, they are both lovely, without anything to worry about. Helen referred to Myra as, "So entirely, impressively set free of all rules and conditions of our lives." Characters Myra In the story Myra is described as having a long, smooth, brown, oval face, with dark, oily, shining hair. She wears heavy braids coiled on top of her head, so that from a distance it looks like she is wearing a turban too big for her. Her eyes have a weary look and she looks like a child in a medieval painting.
She wears a dress of sky-blue taffeta, in dusty turquoise crepe, weighted by a big bow at the V of the neck and folding over her narrow chest. It looks like it is a woman's dress made over.
Myra spends every recess with her brother standing in the little back porch between the girls and boys' sides on the playground Since Myra's family owns a little fruit store, she smells of a rotten, sweetish smell as of bad fruit. When Myra is older she will help her mother in the fruit store.
Myra is very close to her brother Jimmy and must take him to the washroom at school.
Her favourite subjects are art and arithmetic. Myra is able to multiply in her head faster than anyone else in the class
Myra's birthday is July 20.
Diagnosed with leukemia when she is only 10. Helen Helen is the narrator of the story. She is a typical girl in grade 6, who just wants to blend in. She is afraid to walk with Myra one morning because she does not want to ruin her reputation among the rest of the girls. She also does not want to tell anyone about her dream of becoming a airplane hostess.
Helen lives about half a mile of of town, on a farm and should not be going to the town school. She is the only one that carries a lunch pail and eats peanut butter sandwiches. She is also the only one who has to wear rubber boots in the spring when the roads are muddy. Helen's favourite subjects are social studies, spelling and health.
She enjoys reading comics
Has a 4 year old brother
It is clear to the reader that, when Helen offered Myra some cracker jacks she is a kind, sharing and just a good girl. Jimmy Jimmy is the extremely shy, younger brother of Myra, who is just starting school and needs her help to go to the bathroom.
He has a long, smooth, oval faces, with long, dark, oily hair that is clipped at home.
Spends every recess with Myra standing in the little back porch between the girls and boys' side of the playground Miss Darling In the story Miss Darling is described as, "A cold gentle girl who wore glasses with thin gold rims and in the stiff solicitude of certain poses resembled a giraffe." (p.234)
Miss Darling is not understanding when Jimmy wets himself and Myra needs to take him home. She is also not understanding at recess when Myra wants to be with her brother and not the rest of the grade 6 girls.
She does not think trough the idea of the birthday party. Myra's Birthday is in July and it makes her uncomfortable to have a party in March when her birthday is not for another 4 months. Gladys Healey Gladys' father runs a dry goods and ladies' wear store so she is always dressed in flashing plaid skirts and organdie blouses and velvet jackets with brass buttons.
Gladys is the leader of the class with her overpowering personality and bully-like ways.
After telling the entire class about Myra's illness it is clear to the reader that Gladys likes to talk about things she doesn't fully understand. "Day of the Butterfly" by Alice Munro is the perfect example of how simple and delicate children are. Children can be related to a butterfly. So unimportant to many, but beautiful to others. Childhood, like a butterfly's, life does not last long, it is only around for a short period of time, then it must die. With a new child or butterfly created.