The Bear Came Over the Mountain

by

Alice Munro

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The Girl Character Analysis

This “girl,” who remains unnamed throughout the story, was a student with whom Grant had an affair. After ending the affair, Grant received a letter from the girl’s roommate, condemning his actions and informing him of the negative ramifications they had on her mental health. Fiona dismisses the letter as melodramatic. Nevertheless, this letter, along with the word “rat” being written on his office door and general awareness of the affair among his colleagues, results in Grant and Fiona receiving the cold shoulder from the university community of which they are a part. This reaction in turn inspires Grant to take early retirement and move, with Fiona, to her father’s childhood farmhouse.

The Girl Quotes in The Bear Came Over the Mountain

The The Bear Came Over the Mountain quotes below are all either spoken by The Girl or refer to The Girl. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love, Fidelity, and Marriage Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Random House edition of The Bear Came Over the Mountain published in 2014.
The Bear Came Over the Mountain Quotes

Just in time, Grant was able to think, when the sense of injustice had worn down. The feminists and perhaps the sad silly girl herself and his cowardly so-called friends had pushed him out just in time. Out of a life that was in fact getting to be more trouble than it was worth. And that might eventually have cost him Fiona.

Related Characters: Grant, Fiona, The Girl, Colleague
Page Number: 277
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Girl Character Timeline in The Bear Came Over the Mountain

The timeline below shows where the character The Girl appears in The Bear Came Over the Mountain. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Bear Came Over the Mountain
Love, Fidelity, and Marriage Theme Icon
Gender and Power Theme Icon
Class, Practicality, and Humor Theme Icon
...during this period, Grant dreams that he receives a letter from the roommate of a girl with whom he once had an affair. He shows this letter to a colleague, who... (full context)
Love, Fidelity, and Marriage Theme Icon
Gender and Power Theme Icon
Class, Practicality, and Humor Theme Icon
...as the word “rat” written on his office door). He told Fiona simply that the girl had a crush on him, rather than acknowledging the affair, and Fiona responded much as... (full context)
Love, Fidelity, and Marriage Theme Icon
Class, Practicality, and Humor Theme Icon
...however, that their life had been affected by his affairs. After the incident with the girl, he retired, and the two moved to Fiona’s father’s farmhouse in Georgian Bay, which Fiona... (full context)