In Alice Munro's story, "Boys and Girls," what is learned from the first paragraph that clearly indicates the direction of the story?  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Munro's story, "Boys and Girls ," the first paragraph focuses on the father's work as a fox farmer. The father skins and sells the pelts. They are given calendars of heroes and adventurers to hang in their kitchen. In this paragraph, the action of skinning foxes is emphasized....

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

In Munro's story, "Boys and Girls," the first paragraph focuses on the father's work as a fox farmer. The father skins and sells the pelts. They are given calendars of heroes and adventurers to hang in their kitchen. In this paragraph, the action of skinning foxes is emphasized. It is men's work. Thus, the gender roles are quickly set up at the start of the story. As the story progresses, the reader will see that the father works outside--with the foxes and horses--and the mother works inside--cooking and cleaning.

A central conflict in the story is the narrator, a young girl, who wants to be outside with the men and resists her traditional gender role as a female.The first paragraph of the story nicely sets up the contrast of how men and women act. The other thing the first paragraph does is give the symbol of a skinned fox, suggesting an outer layer (the way one looks) with an inner layer (the way one feels), both of which connect to the conflict the narrator is having with regards to her gender. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team