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Like many of her contemporaries, the fictional works of the Canadian writer Alice Munro can be read as a realistic portrayal of the people from her native Ontario, Canada, describing their set of beliefs, values, dreams, aspirations, fears, and apprehensions. A second way to evaluate this fiction is to approach it from a feminist perspective, shedding light on the question of women’s need to be free from the patriarchal rule. The aim of this article, however, is to consider the function of the fairy-tale framework by which Munro’s short story “Red Dress – 1946” is constructed. This fairy-tale design is considered a point of departure from which the story’s heroine grows mentally and spiritually so that she can get her way into the normal world. In addition to taking a brief look at some of the views offered by Munro’s critics of her writings, it also tries to answer such questions as, what function(s) does this form perform to the story to bring about the heroine’s development? Aside from where the Bildungsroman and fairy tale genres meet and where they deviate, how far are certain traditional fairy-tale elements, such as structure, themes, characterization, etc. significant in bringing about the heroine’s mental as well as emotional growth?
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