Jenelle Hansen Jenelle Hansen
Lives of Girls and Women Home Essay
Growing up can be difficult for many young adults, finding your personality in a world with negative and positive surrounding forces can be challenging. The influence of men on young women has greatly effected their development into womanhood. In Alice Munro's "The Lives of Girls and Women", the author centralizes her story around Del Jordan, a young girl growing up in rural Ontario. Impacted drastically by the small town atmosphere that surrounds her, Munro uses this character to depict the many obstacles and transformations an adolescent faces as they grow up. By implementing different male characters, Del shows her unawareness of what love is, her gradual understanding of sexual relations, the pressure to reform to female traditions, and the importance of intellectual relations. Throughout the novel, topics revolving around male and female relationships inform how men influenced Del's development.
Starting in elementary school we see her interests and inexperience with boys during the popular school play. Developing quickly, Del encounters Art Chamberlain, an older man that represents her shifting into a teenager, curious about sexual intercourse. Growing more lustful, Del becomes intoxicated with Garnet French and the sexual lovemaking they share. Contrasting, we see in her relationship with Jerry Storey, a boy that shows Del Jordan the intellectual side of relationships, and positively tries to help her become the woman she aspires to be. These characters demonstrate how male influences can dictate one girl's unstable self-discovery. With Del's complex and constantly changing attitude, we see how her careless longing for boys mixed with her uninformed knowledge of what she wants in life, inadvertently directs her adulthood. Leading her to end of the novel where Del fails to get her university scholarship, Alice Munro shows the main predominant...