Search for Identity in “Boys and Girls” In Alice Munro’s “Boys and Girls” . she tells us a narrative about a immature girl’s rebellion to the muliebrity prescribed by a society which has stereotyped positions toward both sexes’ functions and individuality in society. The narrative takes topographic point in the 1940s when adult females have non gained so much equal rights as today. and they are still perceived as attached to males. The narrative is set is a fox household of Jubilee. Ontario. Canada. a rural country and the point of position of this narrative is first individual “I” .

The storyteller is the female supporter whose name has ne’er appeared in the narrative straight. which symbolizes her deficiency of individuality in a patriarchal society compared with boy kids. There is a character whose name is given to us. the narrator’s brother with the name of Laird. significance Lord in the Scots linguistic communication. The pick of name can truthfully reflect women’s function and societal place at that clip every bit good as men’s precedences in a manner.

Although adult females had no individuality or societal place at clip. they are merely the angel in the house as what they are expected to make. the storyteller has ne’er accepted this place and this unfairness easy and satisfactorily. She rebelled against those outlooks the society had put on adult females. She tried difficult to seek for her individuality in the society. to be “more that merely a girl” . The hunt of individuality is the major subject of Zhang 2 this small narrative. and such hunt can be best reflected on the storyteller but besides on her small brother.

Here. the writer of this thesis will seek to analyse the several procedure of their hunt. and the consequences for hunt of individuality will non be the same because of the difference in gender functions. The narrator’s hunt for individuality can better be represented in the undermentioned scenes. First. her nightly narratives. Her desire and dream for moving like a hero to protect others in these fabricated narratives are the contemplation of her combustion desire to be non merely a miss and her want for freedom that was merely recognizable hers. Before bedtime. she loved to sing the vocal “Danny Boy” . otherwise from her brother who would sing “Jingle Bell” whether it is

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Christmas or non. “I arranged myself tightly under the screens and went on with one of the narratives that I was stating myself. when I had grown a small older ; they took topographic point in a universe that was recognizably mine. yet one that presented chances for bravery. daring and selflessness. as mine ne’er did” ( Munro. 115 ) . The image she fabricated in these narratives represented her ideal ego. a miss. powerful independent. non “just a girl” . the complete antonym of the stereotyped” girl” . which her household wanted her to go and society expect her to go.

It represents her desire to exceed the stereotypic function prescribed to adult females. In the 2nd topographic point. her ungirly behaviour can besides stand for her rebellious hunt for individuality. This obvious bitterness for society’s feminine responsibilities symbolizes the narrator’s desire to be more than “just a girl” . For illustration. even after her grandma criticized her with bids like. “Girls keep their articulatio genuss together when they sit down” ( Munro. 121 ) . And “Girls don’t sweep doors like that” ( Munro. 121 ) . She continued to bang doors and sit awkwardly because she felt that it kept her free.

In other words. she has non been prepared to accept and claim her gender individuality. However. bit by bit. she began to take the individuality of a miss. She began to adorn her room. her bed. pay more attending to her visual aspects when she communicates with her equals. In fact. after a long procedure of rebellious hunt for individuality. she eventually began to build her individuality as a miss. but a miss who is more than “just a girl” . a miss that eventually achieves some freedom in her building of individuality. Third. her desire to be outside of the house.

She is lacerate between the exterior where her male parent introduces her to and the warm interior where her female parent tried protecting her from the barbarous exterior. In that clip. misss were expected to be a aid mate to female parents. making housekeeping. cookery and cleansing and so on. However. she wholly rebels against this family individuality of adult females. She will get away from the house before her female parent yelled her to make housekeeping. and enjoys working beside his male parent. “I worked willing to the full under his eyes. and with a felling of pride” ( Munro. 120 ) .

Her male parent one time introduced her to others as new hired manus. In this sense. her rebellion does do some difference in her life and she acquire some acknowledgment in being non “just a girl” . Fourthly. the narrator’s association with and her designation with Flora besides symbolizes her ain push for freedom in metaphorical sense. The household would sometimes kill healthy Equus caballuss that no longer had any usage because the male parent fed his Zhang 4 foxes with horseflesh. and Flora was one of these Equus caballuss. a beautiful female Equus caballus. violent and rebellious.

In an accident. Flora broke off and ran wildly in the barnyard. When her male parent tried to catch it and cry to her to shut the door. she got at that place merely in clip to shut it. but alternatively she held it unfastened for Flora. “It was exciting to see her running. whinny-ing. traveling up on her hind legs. prancing and endangering like a Equus caballus in a Western movie” ( Munro. 126 ) . The act of her opening the gate and puting Flora free is a rebellious act against the authorization of her male parent and her chase for freedom in metaphorical sense.

In the narrative. “Boys and Girls” . the storyteller is non the lone 1 who has come to footings with individuality through hunt. Her small brother Laird besides went through a procedure of seeking for individuality. Laird began in the narrative like a miss who is really timid. really obedient. merely like his female parent. In the beginning. he enjoyed more of the house than the outside universe. He sings “Jingle Bell” before bed. However. bit by bit. he besides developed her individuality as a male child. possibly under the assistance of his senior sister whose desire for exhilaration drove her to make something fascinating and thrilling.

She one time made Laird climb the ladder to the top beam. persuaded him to look how the old shoot a Equus caballus. In the terminal of the narrative. there is a scene in which Liard commented his sister’s vocalizing as “you sound silly” and another scene in which he told his sister that “we shot old Flora” . All these demonstrate that she has found the individuality a male child should hold in a society. In the terminal. he has developed a desire to make the masculine things around the house. as expected to be done by male childs.

Zhang 5 From the above analysis of the narrator’s and her brother’s hunt for individuality in a society which tend to pigeonhole the function of work forces and adult females. it is found that pure rebellion against the outlook does non do a miss more that “just a girl” . people should besides seek to come term with the society in a certain grade. because the building of individuality is a societal integrating. a societal procedure. However. it does non intend to state that the narrator’s hunt did non hold significance. Actually it did assist her to acquire some freedom and some peace in the bosom.


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