Parents play a significant role in their child’s life because as adolescents a child sees the world from their parents point of view. Children tend to have a moment or group of events that helps them define their own sense of self. When a character in literature has an epiphany, it is when something suddenly occurs that changes their understanding. “Boys and Girls” by Alice Munro is a story about, is about a young girl being raised on a farm, who stuck between following in the footsteps of her mother or her father. “The First Day” by Edward Jones is about a young girls memories from her first day of school. In Alice Munro’s “Boys and Girls” and Edward Jones’ “The First Day” the reader learns about why the main characters views changed. In the time period that “Boys and Girls” is set in both male and female had very specific roles in society.
At the beginning of the story the reader sees the young girl as a tom-boy. During this time period it was unusual for a female to take on the duties of male. The author makes it clear to the reader that the young girl idolizes the life her father leads. The narrator says, ” I was shy of him and would never ask him questions. Nevertheless I worked willing under his eyes, and with a feeling of pride” (112). This quote show that even though the young girls relationship with her father is not the strongest she still looks up to him. The young girl takes pride in what she is doing because she knows that she is contributing to the income for her family. The reader also gets to learn about the young girl through the childhood memories that she recalls.
- Thesis Statement
- Structure and Outline
- Voice and Grammar
One memory she describes is her bed-time routine with her younger brother. Her bedtime routine gives insight to the type of dreams she has for her future. One of her dreams was, “I rescued people from a bombed building. I shot two rabid wolves who were menacing the schoolyard. I rode a fine horse spiritedly down the main street of Jubilee, acknowledging the townspeople’s gratitude for some yet-to-be-worked-out-piece of heroism” (111).
In her dreams she views herself as a bold hero. The actions she takes in her dreams would be stereotypical of a male during that time. The way in which she describes herself riding the horse, can be interrupted that the young girl dreams of being free. She feels like the duties her mother takes on do not allow for freedom because she is stuck inside all day.
While spending as much time as she possibly can outside, the girl forms a love for the animals on the farm. Her love towards the animal is what drives the girl to have an epiphany. The day that changed her point of view was the day Flora, one of the horses was to be shot.
“Instead of shutting the gate. I opened it as wide as I could. I did not make any decision to do this, it was just what I did” ().
Letting Flora escape from being shot on the farm was when the escaped her father’s view of the world. She saw that Flora was trapped and she understood that feeling of being trapped. For the first time, she is not afraid of defying her father and making her own decision.
It can be believed she makes such a choice because she is starting to understand the difference between morally wrong and right. This is the first time the young girl is shown confiding to her mother’s lifestyle. The girl changed her point of view after seeing her fathers work, ” The word girl had formerly seemed to me innocent and unburdened, like the word child, now it appeared that it was no such thing. A girl was not, as I had supposed, simply what I was; it was what I had to become. It was a definition, always touched with emphasis, with reproach and disappointment (114) .
She accepted that she had to take on the duties of her mother’s work but did not agree the way in which society applied roles for men and women.