Miles City Montana By Munro Essay Research

Miles City Montana By Munro Essay, Research Paper

The monotony of life has waged war against the narrator in Alice Munro?s

?Miles City, Montana.? The author depicts the narrator as a brittle woman in

search of a personal identity among a community of conformity. This battle

between domestic responsibility and personal satisfaction reeks havoc on the

soldier of this mother and wife. Munro is a master of characterization, and

through the protagonist she depicts the complexities of human nature. Now, as

the family of four travels across the continent, the narrator is able to slough

off all the obligations which society has dumped on her. Almost relieved, ?we

shed our house, the neighborhood, the city, and?our country? (378). On the

road, she is no longer forced to hide from the friendly phone calls or household

chores. The narrator has been freed on the highway to Ontario, Canada. The

Prisoner of War, held under siege in her own home, is liberated to be ?hopeful

and lighthearted? (378). This trip becomes a break from the life that she?s

is currently leading, a life which society thinks should make her content. With

this new bit of freedom the narrator is able to form an identity for herself.

Tragedy, however, almost strikes as the narrator takes this break from reality.

As the family reaches Miles City, Montana, the two young children become

captivated by the thought of swimming in a refreshing pool. No adults are aloud

into the pool area during the lunch break, but the children are still able to

take a swim with the lifeguard present. As the narrator steps out of sight, the

youngest girl?s curiosity captures her, and she almost drowns in the pool. Meg

had nearly submerged before the mother had a vague premonition that something on

this afternoon is very wrong. Running toward the pool, the girl?s parents

reach her in time, but this incident seeps much deeper as the mother gains

wisdom and identity from the experience. She is a mother. The narrator has now

accepted this responsibility, and will probably embrace other obligations within

her community. As the narrator and her husband discuss which route to take on

the way back to Vancouver, she is filled with ?relief? (388) at the thought

of home. That which was a prison before this fateful vacation has become a

sanctuary, and there is a ?surprising pleasure? (388) within this thought.

Meyer, Michael. The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature. 5 ed. Bedford

Books. 1997.


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