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Hardships in Boys and Girls by Alice Munro

In her story, Boys and Girls, Alice Munro depicts the hardships and successes of the rite of passage into adulthood through her portrayal of a young narrator and her brother. Through the narrator, the subject of the profound unfairness of sex-role stereotyping, and the effect this has on the rites of passage into adulthood is presented. The protagonist in Munro’s story, unidentified by a name, goes through an extreme and radical initiation into adulthood, similar to that of her younger brother. Munro proposes that gender stereotyping, relationships, and a loss of innocence play an extreme, and often-controversial role in the growing and passing into adulthood for many young children. Initiation, or the rite of passage into adulthood, is, according to the theme of Munro’s story, both a mandatory and necessary experience.

Alice Munro’s creation of an unnamed and therefore undignified, female protagonist proposes that the narrator is without identity or the prospect of power. Unlike the narrator, the young brother Laird is named – a name that means “lord” – and implies that he, by virtue of his gender alone, is invested with identity and is to become a master. This stereotyping in names alone seems to suggest that gender does play an important role in the initiation of young children into adults. Growing up, the narrator loves to help her father outside with the foxes, rather than to aid her mother with “dreary and peculiarly depressing” work done in the kitchen (425). In this escape from her predestined duties, the narrator looks upon her mother’s assigned tasks to be “endless,” while she views the work of her father as “ritualistically important” (425). This view illustrates her happy childhood, filled with dreams and fantasy. Her contrast between the work of her father and the chores of her mother, illustrate an arising struggle between what the narrator is expected to do and what she wants to do. Work done by her father is viewed as being real, while that done by her mother was considered boring. Conflicting views of what was fun and what was expected lead the narrator to her initiation into adulthood.

Unrealistically, the narrator believes that she would be of use to her father more and more as she got older. However, as she grows older, the difference between boys and girls becomes more clear and conflicting to her.

By the Waters of Babylon and Planet of the Apes

By the Waters of Babylon and Planet of the Apes Comparitive Essay

The short story by the waters of Babylon and the movie planet of the apes were both futuristic stories. They also both showed the evil sides of today’s man and the chaos and mass destruction that we are capable of accomplishing. They portrayed today’s man as selfish, violent, and full of hate and rage. By the waters of Babylon was written from the point of view of a boy close to becoming a man who knew nothing of his past civilization. Whereas in the movie planet of the apes it was from the point of view of a man that had come nearly directly from that past civilization. The main people in charge keep knowledge from the public so they do not know the evils that they are capable of as to protect them from making the same mistake.

In both stories our present civilization had destroyed the earth, as we now know it and had killed most of the humans. The cause of these catastrophes in both stories was suspected to be from nuclear war. These places were the nuclear bombs had supposably hit could not grow food and had no signs of life and were called the forbidden zones. The main people in charge did not allow people to go into these so-called forbidden places. In the story by the waters of Babylon the people in charge were called the high priests. In the movie the planet of the apes the main people in charge were the elder apes and Dr. Zayus. In both stories their reasons for having the forbidden zones were similar they wanted to hide the past from them so they do not do it again. One last strange similarity is that they both took place in New York City or in that area.

In by the waters of Babylon the main character and narrator was a boy on the verge of manhood. He was in a culture that resembled that of medieval times. Their culture had many tales, stories, good spirits, evil spirits, and magic. He was the son of a high priest, he called himself John. High priests made up the rules, purified evil objects and knew everything about everything.

As the high priest’s son he himself wanted to become a good priest but to become one he had to look at the place of gods with his own eyes.

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