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Boys and Girls

            In society there has always been the stereotyping of males and females, particularly their roles in society and how they are expected to behave. Men were classified as strong and the females were characterized as weak and helpless. In the short stories, "Boys and Girls" by Alice Munro and "The Glass Roses" by Alden Nowlan, this theme is very apparent through the two main characters in the stories. The two main characters are two young adolescents that are going through drastic changes, while society's pressure is on them. Both characters in the two stories share similar characteristics and differences.
             The main character in "Boys and Girls" is a girl who is nameless because the author probably wanted to stress out the male and female gender roles in society. She is a tomboy because she really enjoys working outside with her father doing chores; however, her mother wants her inside helping. The girl is in that stage in her life where she is stuck between being a child and being a girl. The role of being a girl was not just what she was "it was what [she] had to become." This is very similar to Stephan in "the Glass Roses." He is a willowy 15 year old who works with his dad cutting down trees. He desperately wants to become a man due to the pressures set on him by his father. This is best illustrated when his father said to him "you got to start actin" like a man if you want to hold down a man's job." Both are subjected to pressure to accept their roles. In the girl's case it was her mother and her grandmother telling her how she was suppose to act, while in Stephen's case it was his father. Just because of what the grown ups tell them they are pressured to change. The girl is very stubborn about it while Stephen wants it to happen. Both of the main characters really enjoy stories. These stories can be used to tell how much they have grown or matured. In the girl's case she loved to make up in her mind and usually they were very heroic, full of tales and adventures where she would come in and save the day.

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