what is the theme of the story "boys and girls" by alice munro?

jannats-singh | Student

Written in 1968 by Alice Munroe, the story of Boys and Girls follows a young woman living on a farm with her family. The name of the young girl, as well as some of the other characters including the father and mother, is never told during the story. We do know the names of the younger brother Laird, and the father's co-worker Henry Bailey. Taking place on a farm, the year is not definitive either, but we can guess early 1900's since mention of the war and of modern tools such as gum and cars.     
On the farm, the father breeds foxes and the young narrator helps her father maintain the pens. Her mother spends most of her time busy in the house and never comes out unless she needs to. Her younger brother Laird follows her wherever he can and either do as she says or wanders off playing with the farms flora or surrounding bugs. As part of his work, the father pelts (skinning and preparation of the furs) the foxes after winter and is called upon in town to butcher animals that are at the end of their usefulness. The mother soon feels that when Laird will be old enough to help the father, the young girl should work in the house. Soon the farm receives two horses and a cow. When the horses needs to be killed, one runs away and when the young girl has a chance to close the gate and keep the horse in, she instead lets it leave. When the parents learn of this, she starts to cry. Right then the father laughs off "she's just a girl". 
What the story is trying to tell is how unfair identity prejudice is.

Read the study guide:
Boys and Girls

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question