Alice Munro's limited feminist approach in conveying a young girl's rite of passage in her short story "Boys and Girls".

Essay by mellynn_21University, Bachelor'sA+, May 2003

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Alice Munro's Boys and Girls attempts to use a limited feminist approach to convey a young girl's rite of passage into womanhood. Although the story has a strong viewpoint on the differences of a man and woman, the story also portrays the subtle differences emotionally between the two, often emotions that a child or adolescent cannot fight. Munro is found to use the relationship that the child shares with her mother and her father to communicate her own feelings about growing up. The approach that Munro used only sparks the readers' interest by leaving the story's end quite open-ended. The question remains is if the child chose to become what was expected of her, or did her family influence the change.

Munro's short story begins with the opening line, "My father was a fox farmer." From there the author goes on to tell in detail of the child's father.

His job, his friends, and even the way her father and friend affected her sleeping at nights were all laid out for the reader. Throughout the first part of the story, the girl's mother remains seemingly untouched, outside her burst of sickness towards the pelting business her husband ran. The way that Munro told the story only enhanced the portrayal of the father figure as somewhat of an idol in the girl's mind. For example, Munro is quoted, "Nevertheless I worked willingly under his eyes, and with a feeling of pride." The time that the two spent together is written in great detail and each aspect of her father's business follows the same route, while the reader is left uncertain of the whereabouts of the mother. Laird, the girl's brother, is very young in the beginning of the progression and is also unaware of his genders' taught feelings about...