Introduction & Overview of Meneseteung

This Study Guide consists of approximately 70 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Meneseteung.
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Meneseteung Summary & Study Guide Description

Meneseteung Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Bibliography and a Free Quiz on Meneseteung by Alice Munro.

Alice Munro's short story "Meneseteung" was published in the author's collection Friend of My Youth (1990). The meaning of the title "Meneseteung" is not certain: it is the name of the river that Champlain is credited with exploring, and it is also associated with the onset of the menses (menstrual flow) mentioned in section V. The story, like many of Munro's works, was based on her love of the history of rural Ontario, Canada, where she grew up. When one first reads the story, it might appear confusing. Munro employs an outside narrator, who jumps back and forth in time from the 1800s to the 1980s. This narrator includes external sources of information—such as newspaper clippings and excerpts from books—that interrupt the flow of the story and disorient the reader, and, at the end of the story, the authenticity of the narrator is called into question, which can make some readers question the point of the story. Yet, when one digs deeper, the reasons for these seemingly jarring narrative devices, which are another trademark of Munro's writing, become clear. Through its complicated structure and the use of a questionable narrator, "Meneseteung" ultimately explores many themes. As a result, Munro's story can be enjoyed on many levels. One can read the story as a historical piece, examining the life of a Canadian frontierswoman who lives in a male-dominated society and who encounters the baser aspects of the human experience. One can also concentrate on the narrator, who is reconstructing this tale by using historical bits of information and extrapolating to cover the gaps. Finally, one can focus on Munro herself and the author's attempts to describe the narrative process. A current copy of the work can be found in the paperback version of Friend of My Youth, which was published by Vintage Books in 1991.

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Meneseteung from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.