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Friend of my youth

            Throughout the myriad of cultures on our planet, we find different and sometimes opposing beliefs defining the values of an ideal citizen. Among these beliefs it is difficult to isolate a single set and deem them to be superior to another. The reason for this is that they vary based on cultural tradition, religious beliefs and even the technological advancement of that particular society. Although it is more evident with multicultural belief differences, we find large contrasts within the gap of one generation in a single culture. This phenomena is exemplified in Alice Munro's "Friend of My Youth" with the relationship between the narrator and her mother. The purpose of this paper is to examine the changing beliefs of a society throughout the period of one generation. The topics whose influences provided significant changes within the last generation and which will be discussed in this paper are the following: firstly, the changing role of women and the effects of feminism on our society; secondly, the social repercussions of the religious withdrawal from family life and the secularism of our culture. Finally, the effects that technology and the age of computerization have taken on people's lifestyles will be examined. Until the early seventies when the feminist movement began, women were considered to be inferior to men. This belief resulted in the notion that women were unfit to take part in the workforce and were better suited to stay at home and provide care for her family. The feminist movement attempted to extinguish the preconception of inferiority that had stereotyped women in the past. This aggressive rejection of anything less then equality became a revolution of womankind and a new approach to life for most females. The notion that women were unfit for the workplace was abolished and a stream of female employees surged into the workforce. These women were confident, ambitious and determined not only to succeed, but to outdo their male counterparts.

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