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Examining the short story "Day of the Butterfly" by Alice Monro
Transcript of Examining the short story "Day of the Butterfly" by Alice Monro
"Day of the
Monro Day of the
Butterfly Characters By: Shannon Thompson This story has 2 underlying themes. The first being the theme of popularity;
Helen is so concerned about what the
other girls will think that she does not
know whether she wants to be friends
with Myra. Although it is clear to
Helen that Myra could be a good
friend and isn’t at all what she had
expected she still contemplates
whether she can be friends with her.
She think maybe she can be friends
with her out of school, and perhaps
maybe once or twice she can talk to
her at recess but she’s not sure if she
can do that to herself and watch the
other girls begin to exile her and not
want to be her friend anymore. The second theme is that you can’t judge a book by its cover; although Myra
may act different then the other girls that
does not mean she is so different. All of the
young girls treat her like she is so different,
they think she’s weird and an outcast, they
don’t speak to her or try to get to know her
, all because of the way she looks and acts.
Once Helen gets to know her she sees that
she is similar to them and that she is a nice
girl but that doesn’t matter to the other girls
because she still acts and looks different.
Once she becomes sick the other girls finally
take interest in her but it’s solely because it
gives them a new thing to do, it’s not
because she was a nice girl and they liked
her. If only they had gotten to know her
perhaps they would have known she was
sick and they would have cared more about
her then just the trip and the new adventure
going to the hospital would bring. Popularity "Don't judge a book by its cover" The main symbol of this book is the giving of gifts between Helen and Myra. Their friendship first starts with the giving of a small blue butterfly pin. It symbolizes a new bond between the girls. Once Myra is in the hospital the butterfly pin means even more to her for she was finally accepted by one of the girls at school, she finally had a friend, and she had proof of that. This small pin was all she needed to feel the presence of Helen. When Helen and the other girls came to visit her in the hospital it was her turn to give a gift of friendship and show Helen how much the pin and the friendship meant to her. Although both gifts, the pin and the small gold Myra were only items they represented a much deeper meaning, a friendship and a bond between a dying girl and the only friend she really ever had. The climax of the story Arrives when Helen is walking to school early one morning and ends up walking with Myra. In the small gesture of offering Myra some of her cracker jacks she changes both her life and the life of Myra. She both sends her thoughts going and the reader is left wondering what she will decide to do. Will she become friends with Myra or will she let popularity get the best of her and leave Myra even more hurt then she had been before. Myra is a young girl. she is an outsider at her school, no one really understands her. She is sweet but spends most of her time with her shy brother and is often made fun of because of it. She becomes very sick and is on her death bed in the hospital. Without any real friends she seeks the friendship of Helen. Myra Helen Helen is the main character in this short story. She is friends with most of the girls in her class but due to an unexpected encounter with Myra she is left with a decision; to have a really good friend or to keep the friends she already has. Upon finding out that Myra is on her death bed her decision becomes even harder. Timmy Timmy is the younger brother of Myra. He is very shy and is afraid of going to the bathroom by himself. It is due to him that Myra does not spend much time with the girls in her grade and that she is considered an outsider. He asks his sister to take him to the washroom and spends recess with her, once she is no longer at school he no lo9nger goes either, unable to be there by himself. Mrs.
Darling Mrs. Darling is Helen and Myra's teacher. She notices the that Myra is considered and outsider and tries to help her my telling the girls to be nicer to her. Although she tries her best to help Myra fit in she is not very successful.
Upon hearing that Myra is in the hospital she organizes a group of girls from the class to go visit Myra in the hospital. She moves Myra's birthday up a few months and has the girls bring presents and has a cake made. "The
girls" "The Girls" are the girls in Myra's class. Helen is one of them and they pretty much exclude Myra from everything they do. Assuming she's different and weird they just leave her out of the things they do and let her sit with her brother alone on the back step. Even after their teacher asks them to be nicer to Myra they turn her name and talking to her into a sort of game. It only becomes cool to talk to Myra once she is in the hospital on her death bed.
When Helen is faced with her dilemma it is the choice between Myra and the girls that she must make. The conflict arises in Helen's head when she is faced with the decision to pick between the need to be liked and the opportunity for a good friend. She must pick between being friends with every other girl in her grade or being friends with Myra because to the girls in her grade one cannot simply befriends with everyone, especially when Myra is so weird and not like the rest of them. The situation is altered when Myra is admitted to the hospital. By the time Helen is on her way to the hospital with the other girls she has not made a decision as to what she wishes to do about Myra but upon leaving the hospital she has made a compromise with Myra. If Myra gets out of the hospital she has promised to spend time with her out of school. She has not promised to acknowledge their friendship at school and that will only happen if Myra gets out of the hospital.