A Comprehensive Summary of Alice Munro’s “Boys and Girls”
Alice Munro’s “Boys and Girls” is a story about a girl that struggles against society’s ideas of how a girl should be, only to find her trapped in the ways of the world.
The story starts out on a farm in the 1940’s. The narrator is a woman who is telling the first person point of view of when she was a girl. The girl’s father was a fox farmer. He was a hard working, quiet man and the girl really respected him. Every winter the father killed the foxes that he raised and sold their pelts. The girl loved this time and found it seasonal, although her mother despised it.
In the beginning the girl is about nine ...view middle of the document...
She was proud to work with her father. One time while her father was talking to a salesman he said, “Like you to meet my new hired man.” That comment made her so happy, only to have the salesman reply that he thought it was only a girl.
While the girl loved the work outside she hated to do the ‘woman’s work’ inside. She disliked her mother for making her do it, and believed that her mother only made her do it because she didn’t like it. She didn’t like anything about this work. She hated the hot dark kitchen, and thought that work was endless, depressing and unimportant as compared to the work she did for her father. She would do a chore for her mother and then run off before she could tell her anything else to do. She had a very low opinion about anything to do with mother. The only thing the mother had to talk about were things that were unimportant to the girl, like dresses and old boyfriends. She thought that her mother was undependable, easily fooled, conniving and ignorant about the way things really were. This opinion was very much different than that she had of her father.
The girl began feeling like she was being attacked. Like everyone was out to make her a ‘girl’. When her grandmother came to town she was bombarded with comments like, “Girls don’t slam doors like that.” and “Girls keep their knees together when they sit down.” The worst was when she would ask a question and the grandmother would reply “That’s none of a girl’s business.” The girl rebelled against comments like these and continued to slam doors and sit awkwardly.
By this time things were changing. Farmers were buying tractors and it became harder to find horses. The family would sometimes get healthy horses that no longer had any use. They would keep these horses all winter long. One winter when she was eleven years old they had two horses, Mack and Flora. Mack was an old workhorse slow and easy to handle. Flora was a sorrel mare who was violent and reckless.
The following spring Mack was to be slaughtered. Henry, who was a hired man on the farm, led Mack out of the stable. While this was going on the girl took Laird up into the barn so that they could watch them shoot the...