The Struggle against Gender Expectations in Boys and Girls

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The Struggle against Gender Expectations in “Boys and Girls” Should someone create an artificial identity in order to disguise their true self and fit in society? In her story, “Boys and Girls”, Alice Munro depicts the hardships the young narrator faces as she is pressured by society to meet her gender expectations. The protagonist in this story believes that she will be of some help to her father. She believes in creating her own identity and being recognized as an accomplished individual, but will she with stand the pressure of the society and create her own identity. Unrealistically, the narrator believes that she would be of use to her father more and more as she got older. As she grows older she is separated from her gender and the opposite gender. The narrator’s community believes that the male gender is superior to the female gender. The narrator first experience with this was when the salesman stopped at their house one day and she was introduced by her father, the salesman unacquaintedly express’s, “I thought it was only a girl” (49). This goes to show that the salesman thinks that the female gender is not as great as the opposite gender, they are not valued the same as of what the male gender is. The next time the narrator observes this theory is when she is helping her father around the farm and her mother arrives and makes a statement that degrades the female gender. Her mother firmly states, “Wait till Laird gets a little bigger, then you’ll have a real help” (50). This goes to show that the narrator’s mother does not think that she is a real help not because she doesn’t help but because of the assumption that she’s know help due to her gender. Although the narrator is belittled due she feels the need to help out her father and represent herself as the father’s son. Knowing that she needs to meet her gender expectations set by the society, the
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