Boys and Girls is a short story written by the Canadian short story writer, Alice Munro in 1968. The story is about a young girl who struggles against society's ideas of how a girl should be, only to find her trapped in the ways of the world. The story takes place on a farm. The narrator is a woman who is telling in the first point of view of when she was a young girl. Her father was a fox farmer, he was hardworking and she had a great deal of respect for him. She enjoyed working with him. The narrator had problems coming to terms with the role in life that she was expected to lead. By using the first person point of view combined with characterization, the author is able to depict the hardships and successes of passage into adulthood through her portrayal of a young narrator. She was also able to examine the different roles that society has defined for boys and girls.
Alice Munro's short story, "Boys and Girls," has a very interesting detail written into it. The narrator's brother is named Laird, which was carefully chosen by the author. 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. At the time of the story, society did not consider men and women equal. 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 time when this story took place was a time when men and women were not considered equivalent. Mothers had traditional roles, which means that they"re jobs were strictly around the house, while men also had their roles, outside of the house. The male was the dominant figure in the house, while the woman had to be subservient:.
It was an off thing to see my mother down at the barn. She did not often come out of the house unless it was to do something - hang out the wash or dig potatoes in the garden.