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An Ounce of Cure Research Paper Topic Suggestion

An Ounce of Cure research paper due and don’t know how to start it? How about like sample American Literature topic suggestion on Alice Munro's An Ounce of Cure.

An Ounce of Cure by Alice Munro, is the story of a young girl from a respectable family who gets drunk for the first time while baby sitting. An Ounce of CureIt is often found that when an author writes fiction a great deal of their personality and background comes out in their work.  This holds true for Alice Munro, an author that sends out several of her own traits in her characters.  They are:

  • Munro’s conservative background
  • Alice Munro's delicate sense of exposure
  • Most importantly, Munro's intimate knowledge of being a young woman in love and the vulnerability that goes along with love and loss

The theme of the story is a young girls coming of age through the vulnerable act of exposing herself emotionally and thus gaining perspective on love and loss in adolescence

Setting up the Introduction of Your Ounce of Cure Research Paper

An Ounce of Cure begins with the main character reflecting on the ecstasy of her first meaningful encounter when “…a boy named Martin Collingwood had given me a surprised, appreciative, and rather ominously complacent smile in the school assembly”.  The two date for a very short time before the narrator of the story is dumped by Martin for his lead in the Christmas production of Pride and Prejudice. The girl then sinks into a “more or less self-inflicted” state of suffering that Munro describes as typical adolescent angst, however, not to be trivialized.  To forget her humiliating rejection by Martin, she decides to drink her troubles away while baby-sitting at a neighbor’s home.  Never haven drank before, she consumes too much alcohol and falls into a stupor of vomit and illness.  In a plea of desperation, the girl calls her best friend to come over and help her.  When she arrives, she is accompanied by a friend and 3 boys who proceed to help themselves to music and food while the narrator sobers up.  When the parents unexpectedly return home early, the narrator is still drunk and standing nearly naked in a room full of boys. 


Writing about the Epiphany of Within an Ounce of Cure

The epiphany of the theme of the story is not in the fact that the narrator was caught doing something wrong, but it lies in the emotions associated with her motivations and with the emotional consequences suffered.  She had been suffering miserably with the feelings of teenage lust for whom she, “spent perhaps ten times as many hours thinking about Martin Collingwood – yes, pining and weeping for him – as I ever spent with him; the idea of him dominated my mind relentlessly and, after a while, against my will”.

What the drinking was to do was bring about some “emotional change, an upsurge of gaiety and irresponsibility, a feeling of lawlessness and escape, accompanied by a little dizziness and perhaps a tendency to giggle out loud”.  Munro illustrates her deep insight into the desire for the narrator to escape the feelings of pining and the longing of irrational young love.  While never demeaning the intensity and value of the emotions, Munro offers insight into a journey most sensitive, young hearts must learn – what it’s like to love and lose.  The narrator drank to escape these loss, but what the end result provided was only achieved by soberly opening herself up to the vulnerability of love and emotions.

In reflecting upon her drunken experience and how romantic, rebellious infamy failed to occur, the narrator states “I was a self-conscious girl and I suffered a good deal from all this exposure,”.  What she did gain from the experience was the valuable transition from lovesick humiliation to the reality that is often featured in Munro stories, separating the self from emotion and learning from it.  The narrator illustrates in reflecting,

“But the development of events…fascinated me; I felt that I had had a glimpse of the shameless, marvelous, shattering absurdity with which the plots of life, though not of fiction, are improvised.  I could not take my eyes off it”. 

The humiliation of the events bring her “back into the world again”.

Alice Munro is insightful and on target in revealing the vulnerability of love and the necessity of rising above the suffering and humiliation.  By looking into the motivations and results of one drunken evening of baby sitting, Munro reveals the story of how the tender hearts of the world learn to separate themselves and heal from one of life’s greatest joys and most painful experiences – first love and loss.

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