Alice Munro’s Boys and Girls begins with Jeanette who talks about her experiences in boarding school. Boys and girls were separated into three different buildings: high, middle, and elementary. Boys and girls couldn’t interact at all without a teacher present; however, if they did get together, it was mostly for educational purposes. While she was in high school, she was close with a boy named Les Goodwin.
In Boys and Girls by Alice Munro, the protagonist is a young girl named Brenda. The short story is set in Ontario, Canada in 1950. This was around the time of when television and other new technologies were beginning to be introduced into society. It was also right before the age of Rock and Roll music, so there’s a lot of drama and tension between the generations in Boys and Girls. The main conflict of Boys and Girls is about a poor family whose father left them with a pile of debt. Brenda’s mother, Flo, struggles to provide for her children by working at a restaurant as a waitress.
Her younger sister Vera is rather manipulative towards her siblings and constantly gets herself into trouble so she has to be constantly watched by their mother. Brenda is one of the most obedient children compared to her siblings, which makes it easy for her to get along with others including an old Jewish man that lives down the road from them who gives them free produce from his farm thanks to Mrs. Peebles, another older woman living in the neighbourhood that babysits Brenda when their mom is at work.
Boys and Girls also follows a rather stereotypical view of gender roles, where the boys can go outside and do boy things while girls should be doing “girly” things such as playing with dolls. Boys are only seen as being useful for manual labour around the home. In Boys and Girls, Alice Munro does an excellent job creating 3D characters that have depth by providing background stories for each character that helps readers to empathize with them as well as understand their motivations throughout the short story.
The main protagonist Brenda is a young girl who becomes heavily attached to her father because she barely gets to see him due to his long working hours at a job he hates. This creates a lot of tension between Flo, who resents her husband for abandoning them, and Brenda, who idolizes her father for leaving his family to work long hours at a factory. For Vera, Boys and Girls explores how young girls can be way more mature than they appear on the surface due to the amount of responsibility their family places upon them.
This is shown very clearly when Brenda’s mother had no choice but to leave 5 year old Vera home alone with 3 brothers while she went to work one night despite having promised that she would watch over her. The protagonist’s younger sister bullies everyone around her including their brother Bill because of jealousy due to him being the only son in the family who got away from working outside doing manual labour like their dad.
Boys and Girls also shows how older citizens played a large role in society during this time period by providing free produce from their farm to the family despite not having any obligation to do so. In Boys and Girls , Alice Munro explores themes such as gender roles, abandonment, bullying, loneliness, manipulation, betrayal, and loss of innocence. By doing this she is able to tell a captivating story that speaks volumes about teenage life during this era while also providing readers with plenty to think about afterwards.
Alice Munro’s short story Boys and Girls is about a girl named Chris who follows around her neighbor Mr. Phippen while he takes care of his chickens, ducks, rabbits, cow, donkey, goat, and horse in order to get the attention of the boy she likes. In this story we find that there are many different types of relationships between men and women. Boys and Girls was published in Munro’s short story collection: Who Do You Think You Are? (1978) Chris follows Mr.
Phippen around as he feeds his animals everyday, and she learns a lot about him; she sees that everything is not perfect in his life. One afternoon Chris brings Arthur along with her to follow around Mr. Phippen while he takes care of his animals one day, and this is when we see how the relationship between the two boys begins to take place. The four-year age difference becomes evident because Arthur doesn’t understand what it means to be best friends with someone who is only nine years old.
It becomes very clear during this scene that Arthur doesn’t understand the way Chris’ mind works, and this is when readers can see that Arthur is older than Chris. Boys and Girls was published in Munro’s short story collection: Who Do You Think You Are? (1978) The story Boys and Girls takes place in a small town in Ontario. The time frame of Boys and Girls seems to be during the 1960s or 1970s because of what people are wearing throughout Boys and Girls, along with some other factors such as having a television set with only three channels to choose from.
In Boys and Girls we get introduced into Chris McIvor’s point of view, who lives next door to Mr. Phippen who has been an old bachelor all his life. Boys and Girls was published in Munro’s short story collection: Who Do You Think You Are? (1978) This story Boys and Girls shows us that there are many different types of relationships between men and women. Boys and Girls was published in Munro’s short story collection: Who Do You Think You Are? (1978)