The story is about a young girl who struggles against society's ideas of gender portrayal, stereotyping and expectations of the female role, only to find herself trapped in the ways of the world. The story is told through the girl, who remains unnamed, as the narrator depicting life with her brother, father, and mother and the roles each one plays. Throughout the story she is determined to battle the typical stereotyping and is in all aspects of the word a "tomboy". Yet in the end, she will succumb to society's feelings of gender type as she comes to recognize her role of a female. The feminist and Freudian approach are used within the story to shed light on the narrators ongoing battle within herself. .
The narrators begins with the story with details of the daily chores and dedication needed to help on the fox farm and it isn't until shortly later that it is realized that the narrator is a girl. Throughout the story leading up to the scene when she and her father are in the pens, you are lead to believe that she is a boy, until a short exchange of words with a feed salesman who inquires about her. The father says that she is the new hired man and he replies, " could have fooled me," "I thought it was only a girl. When Henry Bailey, the hired hand, burps aloud, she finds it very funny while her mother hates it. Now from a feminist point of view you would think that a girl would find this repulsive. The narrator's brother is named Laird, is a synonym for lord, which plays an important role in a story where a young girl has society's unwritten rules forced upon her. The name that the author chose for the narrator's brother symbolized how the male child was superior in the parents" eyes and in general. The name also symbolizes the difference between the sexes when this story took place.
The narrator finds her mother and grandmother annoying, both fitting the tradition stereotype of the female role.