Walker Brothers Cowboy

by Alice Munro

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What could be a thesis statement for an analytical argument about Munro's "Walker Brothers Cowboy"?

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Clearly, there is an awakening from the world of childhood into the reality of adulthood and its complexities in the narrator of "Walker Brothers Cowboy" as she accompanies her father on his sales peregrinations. This awakening is narrated in an adult voice, yet it incorporates the perspective and feelings of the child at the same time. 

Alice Munro's employment of a narrative technique that is much like that of Harper Lee in To Kill a Mockingbird, in which an adult Scout narrates in retrospect, is a technique that allows a deeper involvement with theme since style and theme mirror each other in "Walker Brothers Cowboy." For, the subjective and objective dimensions of reality are presented simultaneously. In the following passages, the narrator describes what she sees as she rides with her father,

One yard after another...the old cars, the pumps, dogs, views of gray barns and falling down sheds and upturning windmills.

And, then, she narrates, 

I feel my father's life flowing back from our car in the last of the afternoon, darkening and turning strange, like a landscape that has an enchantment on it,...making it ordinary and familiar...but changing it...into something you will never know.

In these passages, it becomes apparent that Munro describes both the landscape and the pathos of men and women's lives in the Great Depression. As her story continues, the narrator begins to perceive a dimension in her father of which she has previously known nothing. This new knowledge opens for her the world of adulthood.

In composing a thesis, therefore, the student can argue that style and theme mirror each other in Munro's story and in this way, the subjective and objective dimensions work together in the narrative to create the pathos of the struggles to assert one's self, find some gratification, and seek fulfillment in an environment that challenges these efforts.

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