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"Boys and Girls" by Alice Munro
Transcript of "Boys and Girls" by Alice Munro
The symbols of farm life in Alice Munro's short story "Boys and Girls" reflect the over-arching theme of gender inequality as they represent the barrier between the traditional roles of men and women. In specific, the horses in the story symbolize the narrator's new found awareness of her femininity as a determinant of her future.
"He [Father] spoke with resignation, even good humor the words which absolved and dismissed me for good. 'She's only a girl', he said. I didn't protest that, even in my heart. Maybe it was true" (Munro).
The Home versus the Barn
"A girl was not, as I had supposed, simply what I was; it was what I had to become. It was a definition, always touched with emphasis, with reproach and disappointment. Also it was a joke on me" (Munro).
"Standing in front of the mirror combing my hair and wondering if I would be pretty when I grew up" (Munro).
"A story might start off in the old way, with a spectacular danger, a fire or wild animals, and for a while I might rescue people; then things would change around, and instead, somebody would be rescuing me. It might be a boy from our class at school, or even Mr. Campbell, our teacher, who tickled girls under the arms. And at this point the story concerned itself at great length with what I looked like--how long my hair was, and what kind of dress I had on; by the time I had these details worked out the real excitement of the story was lost" (Munro).