Presented in the story is the issue or way of society to place a stereotype that boys are superior to girls. In this writing by Anne Hart she clearly elaborates this issue and ties it in to a setting that we, as Canadians, are able to understand and recognize. Through out the short story the idea that change is hard to accept and that it is inevitable that traditions or people change is highlighted.
We live each day with the thought of tomorrow. It does not seem logical to live everyday as your last, or to be able to accept and appreciate change at the end of everyday. The more we interact as people, the more similar we become. Perhaps this is the problem. As we begin to connect with one another and take part in globalization we begin to shift towards the same goal; the popular goal. To be the best, the greatest. What is the best or the greatest? How do we become the best or the greatest? As presented in the story, we take comfort in the things that are “real” to us, the traditions or customs that seem certain. Society is uncertain and is unwilling to accept change until it is forced on us. This flaw leads us to resort to the comfort of the things that seem real, to trick ourselves into thinking that change might not be so bad. If these things we find comfort in begin to be threatened, the whole community uproars.
Rules control the world like a chain tied around your hands. Some can accept that they will never be set free- they live their lives in accommodation to their restrictions. There are others who will attempt to escape these chains, but in the end fail, while many others pretend to be free but in reality know they are not. Finally, there are the people who will cut off their hands to perhaps prove to themselves and the others around them that they are powerful. These are the people we all seem to aspire to be. Everyone has the idea that they need to be their own person, the one who holds the most power and strength- the one who carries the water. More often than not society is oblivious to the fact that their actions and immoral values based on the past have a real effect on the newly altered past- the present. Stereotypes, roles, sexism and unfairness. Who made the rules we are governed by? It was us, setting standards and placing barriers is one of the human minds greatest capacities. “Do unto others as they would do unto you” is the golden rule. If we as a whole community were able to accept and appreciate this expectation established by our creator, it would eliminate the conflict between the good and the bad. If we are able to cast the golden hue of the lord unto all of the people of the earth, all would be equal. Like butterflies folding out their yellow wings after being trapped in chrysalis, we would be able to appreciate, accept and adopt difference- uncertainty. Nothing gold can stay by Robert Frost – “natures first green is gold, the hardest hue to hold”. In this poem Frost explains that nothing, especially that which is perfect and beautiful, can last forever. Like the first green of spring, the things that we are born to value, start out so perfect and pure that as we gain experience our pure, delicate being becomes worn, tarnished and stained by imperfection. Much like the traditions we have, they start out so formal and concise. As they being to be challenged, they change.
Change can be threatening. What happens when we feel threat? When something that seems real to us is challenged, it is hard to accept that change will occur. Most of the time as humans our first step to growing acceptance is to first, resent the situation or try to change what is inevitable.The carrying of the water in the short story was something that was deemed as being real. A task that brought comfort and certainty. Once the role of carrying the water bucket was challenged by Alma, they boys grew quiet and looked to Miss. Ralston. As a society when something of great concern comes about, we tend to look to those of authority for answers, rather than just thinking of them ourselves. The people who are deemed to have the control over our governments and community decisions also have control over our decisions. This is one of society’s greatest weaknesses. Often times however, the decisions that the people of authority make, do not satisfy our wants. This is when conflict occurs. Miss. Ralston was unable to come up with an answer to Alma’s question of “why cant girls go for the water, too?”. This drew confusion to the boys and started conflict and commotion. The thing that was most real and routine in a school boys uncertain life was being threatened. Society once again created a war to fight the inevitable change.
Change is inevitable. Change is constant. It is a fault of humans to resent the idea of change.