Using the narrator as evidence, how do the expectations of society affect our personal identity?

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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In this coming-of-age story, the narrator lives in a society that has defined roles for girls. They were expected to be lady-like in their behavior and to learn the skills needed to be a good housewife. At the beginning, the narrator is a tomboy who likes to help her father with the outside work rather than helping her mother with housework. Her mother complains about the narrator's behavior because it's out of character for a young lady. Over the years, the narrator feels the pressures of her mother's complaints and society's expectations. She begins to think about her looks, worrying whether she'll be attractive. The last trace of her resistance to society's mores are seen when she allows Flora, a horse her father wants to kill, to escape. Her father isn't angry at her because "she's only a girl". This statement sums up what society expects of the narrator, and she realizes that she must fit within the confines of that society.

As she gets older, the narrator realizes conformity to society's expectations

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