Premium Essay

Coming of Age

In: English and Literature

Submitted By bombay
Words 375
Pages 2
In William Wallis’s novel Hawk, Ray Falke is quite a different creature. Perfecto and Ray are similar only in the dual suffering of extreme adversity and abuse. Ray Falke, a flawed, seemingly cruel, father of four, cannot let go of his painful past. Unfortunately, Ray’s haunting past holds his entire family hostage, as everyone suffers enormously from his raging demons. During Ray’s tumultuous childhood, a machine on which he toiled “tore away all of his… fingers, all but one.” (38). Ray’s seven year old son Will was sadly cursed with the loss of an eye, and whenever Ray looked at Will, he saw a mirror image of himself, imperfect and permanently scared, with “no fortitude,” (37). Ray was constantly abused as a child and subconsciously chose to continue the cycle of brutality, thrusting it like a tornado upon his own flesh and blood. “His dreams were mostly painful, the meanness of the past, his own meanness and the hardness of his own life.” (62). Ray seems as well to have been a product of the stereotypical behavior that was unfortunately the norm for too many fathers in the Southern fifties. It is not until the last act of this beautifully crafted gothic novel that Ray has a coming of age, when he finds himself on the precipice of good and evil. He finally realizes he is about to cross the line into the dark side, from which he will never be able to return. After an abusive and incredibly powerful confrontation with his young son Will, Ray is able to finally come to terms with the past and we hope move towards a more peaceful life. “Ray glimpsed an austere beauty in his son’s face. And from the distance between them, marked by the oak posts and barbed wire of their time together thus far, each knew the other as much as was allowed their willing hearts.” (141). Ray experienced an extraordinarily powerful coming of age moment, and although life would probably never...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Coming of Age-

...Coming of Age Hemingway’s “The Indian Camp”, being a very short story manages to describe how a young boy comes of age in one night. Hemingway portrays the “coming of age” by having the young boy Nick witness two harsh realities- Life and Death. Nick’s father, Dr. Adams takes him on a trip across a lake to an Indian camp, where he helps deliver the baby of an Indian woman. Hemingway’s effective use of setting portrays Nick very naïve and dependent as he first crosses the lake. After the events Nick’s character undergoes some changes as he crosses the lake for the second time. When Nick first enters the boat, his surroundings are dark and cold. This symbolism reflects Nick’s lack of awareness or knowledge of life and death. Nick is an innocent child who has fears and insecurities. Hemingway portrays this when he says, “Nick lay back with his father’s arm around him.” (Hemingway 292) Dr. Adams has decided to take Nick on this journey as an” initiation” to help Nick lose his insecurities and fear. Dr. Adams is stern and in control when they arrive at the hut, “ Nick’s father ordered some water to be put on the stove,” ( Hemingway 293 ) he starts to explain to Nick what is occurring , “ This lady is going to have a baby , Nick,” ( Hemingway 293 ) . Nick aids his father during the gruesome labor. Nick hears the screams of the Indian woman and becomes acquainted with the pain and suffering that comes with child birth. Despite his father’s push to watch,......

Words: 520 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Coming of Age

...Coming of age is a young person’s transition from childhood to adulthood. Throughout the novel we are able to see the many life changing events that bring Esther’s character through this realization period in her life. Esther is faced with many moments where she has to stop and choose option A or option B whatever option she decides to pick her result will either help her or make matters worse. This is where we are able to see how Esther’s character develops throughout the novel. Whether it be drinking the water out of her finger bowl or choosing who to befriend, Betsy or Daisy, Esther is faced with many challenging decisions that will make or break her in the long run. Throughout the novel we see how Esther’s wardrobe changes with every event that occurs in her life. It is clear that the clothes Esther buys for her trip to New York is just a prop that she uses to portray the role she’s playing. We are able to see how Esther has regret from this new lifestyle she has taken up when she says, “all I could think about was the Rosenberg’s and how stupid I’d been to buy all those uncomfortable, expensive clothes, hanging limp as a fish in my closet, and how all the success I totted up at college fizzled to nothing”(2). This point where she chooses to trade in her books for her new expensive clothes is one of the first coming of age moments for Esther where she chooses to be in the “cool crowd”. Another moment in Esther’s life that exemplifies coming of age is when she......

Words: 627 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Coming of Age

...Coming of Age Stereotypes are given to people that last them a lifetime. Stereotype is defined as a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing. The way someone acts, talks, dresses all contribute to how this person is stereotyped. Common stereotypes in high school are the jock, the popular girl, the troubled child and the nerd. There are many coming of age films that have characters that play these stereotypical roles. Films such as Stand by Me, Now and Then, and The Sandlot all have characters that play stereotypical roles. Out of the three coming of age films that were watched during class,I believe Stand by Me had the most stereotypical characters that functioned to achieve the director’s purpose. The main character in the film Stand by Me is Gordie. He fits the stereotype of being the youngest child. Often times in families where there are more than one child, the younger child fits a certain stereotype. This stereotype being the neglected child. The youngest child typically has more freedom than older siblings. Also, the youngest child is always compared to their older siblings. We see this in this film with how Gordie’s parents don’t really care about him or what he does. An example is when there’s a flashback from before Gordie’s brother died and the whole family is sitting at the dinner table. Gordie’s parents are so intrigued in his brother’s life and once Gordie goes to talk, they ignore him. When......

Words: 727 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Coming of Age

...Coming of Age “A & P” John Updike’s short story, A & P discusses a simple conflict resolved with a quick and definitive action. The story focuses on its main character; Sammy who has an epiphany when he realizes a line has been crossed while working his summer job. Updike’s story teaches us of a young and relatable man who will stand up for what he believes. The story starts of with Sammy describing three young girls that catch his eye as they walk into the store. “There was this chunky one, with the two-piece- it was bright green and the seams on the bra were still sharp and her belly was still pretty pale so I guessed she just got it (the suit)- there was this one, with one of those chubby berry –faces, the lips all bunched together under her nose, this one, and a tall one, with black hair that hadn’t quite frizzed right, and one of these sunburns right across under the eyes”… “And then the third one, that wasn’t quite so tall. She was the queen. She kind of led them, the other two peeking around and making their shoulders round. She didn’t look around, not this queen” (320). When Sammy is describing these girls, he is really only describing one girl in particular. “She had on a kind of dirty-pink- beige, maybe, I don’t know- bathing suit with a little nubble all over it and, what got me, the straps were down” (321). Sammy sees these young women in such detail. He observes their every move, up until the time of their checkout. It is at this point, that the store......

Words: 800 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Coming of Age

...Jacqueline Albert Professor Shannon Buck LIT 100 18 January 2015 Coming of Age The two stories that I will be discussing are “Araby,” by James Joyce and “Boys and Girls,” by Alice Munro. Both stories illustrate for us in both positive and negative elements the idea of growing up, and coming of age. Both of these authors used a great amount of literary elements to give us the concept of coming of age. Araby is about an unnamed young boy that does not seem to pay any particular attention to what is going around him, that or he just doesn’t pay any mind. The author does an amazing job setting the scene for us, as mundane as I found it to be. The boy would dart and sneak around, purposefully avoiding anyone including his friend Mangan’s sister. This gave me the image that he was younger then I initially thought. The narrator states “She was waiting for us, her figure defined by the light from the half-opened door. “ (Joyce 155) This is when he actually noticed her, more so then her just being “there.” He then further elaborates with “Her dress swung as she moved her body and the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side.” (Joyce 155) As he describes her beauty you can feel that now he is not just a boy. Mangan’s sister asked the young boy if he planned on going to the Araby. An Araby is a bazaar that is put on by the church in order to raise money for charity. Since she is not able to attend due to being out of town, he agrees to go and bring her a souvenir...

Words: 806 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Coming of Age Narratives

...tribal settings. In order to succeed within social strata it is of the utmost importance to adhere to these “rules”, so to speak. Moral value is often what deciphers one group from another. What one group of people hold of importance may not mean much to another. However it is important to respect the differences between social groups, because without each of them society wouldn’t be where it is today. In my two chosen texts, Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga and Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson we are faced with two characters trying to release themselves from the shackles of society and trying to become accepted and to find themselves. Stories of self-development often prove to be the most interesting, a coming of age tale revealing significance in every footstep of growth. In Nervous Conditions we follow the narration of the main character, Tambu and her experiences, through her eyes directly, of her time growing up in Africa. The book also surrounds another main character, Nyasha, Tambu’s affluent cousin. It is important to recognise the immediate differences between the cousins. Tambu has only ever known an impoverished background where as Nyasha is travelled and educated. She speaks English and Tambu speaks Shona, the language of her area. At the beginning of the novel it is difficult to imagine how the girls will be able to relate with one another. However it is their differences, which prove to be their strength. They help one another in......

Words: 1930 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Mosuo Walking Marriages

...The Mosuo are a small ethnic group living in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces in China. Probably the most famous and most misunderstood aspect of Mosuo culture is their practice of walking marriages, also known as zouhun in Chinese. The coming of age ceremony, also known as the bonfire party, it’s the occasion when boys and girls at around 12-14 years of age get to know about each other. It is one of the most important events in a Mosuo child's life. Before this ceremony, Mosuo children will dress the same, and are restricted from certain aspects of Mosuo life. But once they come of age, girls are given their skirts, and men are given their pants (thus, it is called the “skirt ceremony” for girls, and the “pants ceremony” for boys). During the ceremony, boys and girls dance together, and decide whom you are interested in. For women to express love to men, double clicks in the men’s hand is okay. For men to show the good will for the particular woman, however, they are supposed to click three times and send out their knife, the symbol of their coming of age to the woman at the same time. After coming of age, Mosuo females can get their own private bedroom; and, once past puberty青春期, can begin to invite partners for walking marriages.  Traditionally, a Mosuo woman who is interested in a particular man will invite him to come and spend the night with her in the room. Such pairings are generally conducted secretly, so the man will walk to her house after dark, spend the night......

Words: 724 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Catcher in the Rye

...Catcher in the Rye is a coming of age story that tells the tale of Holden Caulfield, a troubled young man who throughout the novel, is presented with various symbols. The symbols are clearly made evident by Holden’s (J.D. Salinger's) constant repetition of their importance. The symbols are so important and their symbolism is directly related to the major themes of the novel. Three symbols seemed to have a higher president over the others, those are the central park ducks, the museum of natural history and Holden's brother Allie himself. These are very important objects that carry a higher meaning with them.Allie, Holden’s younger brother who died several years before the events of Catcher in the Rye, was a key symbol throughout the story. When Holden remembers incidents from his past involving Allie, his attitude changes, such as when he writes the composition about Allie’s baseball glove or when Holden brakes his hand from punching all of the windows after Allie died. He feels that Allie was one of the few people who were not phony in a world full of phonies. More importantly, Allie represents the innocence and childhood that Holden strives to find throughout his journey. In Holden’s opinion, Allie represents the purity that Holden looks for in the world. Holden admits that he admires Allie more than he admires Jesus, and even prays to Allie at one point, rather then the latter. Allie is Holden’s role model, whom he judges the rest of the world according to. When Allie dies,...

Words: 696 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

The Truth About Adulthood

...The Truth About Adulthood Remember when we were young and dreamt of the day we entered the world of adolescence. So eager to experience the sweet taste of independence that is, till reality came knocking on the door. It is the breakthrough from childhood to adolescence that was captured as the theme in John Updike’s story A &P and James Joyce’s “Araby”. The use of imagery to describe the lifeless and ordinary setting made it clear to distinguish the characters desire to overcome the barriers of childhood. The story of “Araby” begins at a dead end street where the narrator lives with his aunt and uncle. He describes the short days of winter and mentions, “The space of sky above us was the color of ever-changing violet (107).” He is expressing the continuous change that comes along with getting older, just like the ever changing skies, this feeling of continuous change is something the narrator has no power over and is frustrating to him. To represent the initiation into adulthood and the loss of child like dreams the narrator describes the street where the boys play: “The career of our play brought us through the dark muddy lanes…to the back doors of the dark dripping gardens… to the dark odorous (107). It seems as though where ever the boy goes darkness follows, representing a dreadful feeling of growing up. Passing through to adolescence comes with the crushing of dreams and illusions. In addition to the point on desire to enter adulthood, when in class the narrator...

Words: 843 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Rites of Passage

...Rites of Passage: The Making of an Adult Coleen Adams ANT 101 Professor Cohen October 14, 2013 Throughout the world, every culture has introduced their own versions of the “Rites of Passage”. The coming of age when you pass from being a child into adulthood. Some rites are as simple as a dance or the painting of faces, while others are as extreme as forceful circumcision and sleeping with other men’s wives. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s never easy becoming a grown-up. As a part of the Western Culture, we seldom observe, have knowledge of or understand the uniqueness of participating in a Rite of Passage. We are exposed to the “American” versions of the Bar Mitzvah, Quinceanera’s and the Vision Quest of the American Indian, while not acknowledging our own that we take for granted daily. Whether its following in our parents or siblings footsteps, getting a driver’s license or receiving a family heirloom passed down from generation to generation. Some people believe that you don’t become an adult until your parents pass away. In actuality, all are forms of a Rite of Passage. While researching this particular topic in the Ashford Library, there were wonderful examples of what the Rites of Passage has endured throughout the centuries. Coupling this with information from the local library, one can cross reference articles, journals, books and government databases (which regretfully are not functioning because of the government shutdown) in depth. By......

Words: 783 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

The Secret Lion

...“The Secret Lion” Being a child is being fresh to a world that is fresh to you. Like a sponge; absorbing every little drop of life, and creating your own point of view. Each day offers another chance to learn, and explore the world. It keeps having unanswered question to be answered, but you don’t question it, assuming you can trust all the pleasant things you have imagined and have been told. With your loyal eyes you only see what you want to see until some day, when someone comes and pulls away the veil from your eyes. The world suddenly looks different, and it has changed without you noticing it. It all happens so fast, you do not have the time to understand. In “The Secret Lion” by Alberto Alvaro, the narrator and his friend Sergio experience growing up, without really knowing what is going on. As they start in junior high school, things as they know them, begins to change, and everything turns different. They do not like the change; however change is inevitable for them. To escape school, where “everything was backward-like” (197), the boys seek to the arroyo, the place that never changes. The arroyo illustrates their childhood, their sanctuary, where they can rebel and be children, without parents and teachers take away their freedom by making up rules and new expectations. “It was our river, though, our personal Mississippi, our friend from long back, and it was full of stories” (197). The arroyo is the place they found when they were younger. They know it well,......

Words: 881 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Seeing the World Differently: an Analysis of "When the Light Get Green"

...anymore. At the beginning of the story we follow the grandson’s memory of what his grandfather looked like. The first line says “My grandfather had a long white beard and sat under the cedar tree.” This was how he imagined his grandfather while he was at school, but when he returned he was shocked to see that the beard was actually “gray and pointed.” This opening paragraph sets the tone for the entire story. The grandson had a majestic image of his grandfather in his mind, but the passage of time sheds light on imperfections that were previously unimportant. Paul Runyon says that “’When the Light Gets Green’ is a strongly autobiographical reminiscence of his grandfather Penn.” Runyon point helps show that this story is about the coming of age period in a young man’s life. The grandson continues to analyze his grandfather, who is looking into a “wavy green mirror.” The mirror is an interesting symbol in this scene. A wavy mirror makes it seem as though it would alter the appearance anyone who was looking into it. Also the idea of looking at a reflection of yourself or another person...

Words: 1357 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Grapes of Wrath Seize the Day

...Intro to Literature Final Exam The Grapes of Wrath may be set in the 1930’s, but many of the elements are no different than those of today. The characters portrayed in the novel must endure failure, prejudice, death, struggle, abandonment, and injustice, not unlike the elements we all face to a certain extent in our own lives. But not only the negative elements are shown, but also the positive ones like family love and togetherness as well as wanting to help other people as much as you can. This last example is best shown by the main character Tom Joad leaving the family near the end of the story. He doesn’t want to go, but knows that he has to. He only hopes that he can make a difference in someone else’s life: that they might not have to go through the same things he and his family had to endure. This concept is also shown through Jim Casy, the former preacher who takes the blame for an assault upon himself, thereby sparing the recently paroled Tom from going back to prison. Today, none of us may have to endure the conditions that the Joad family had to endure, and we can all be thankful for that, but in ways much unlike the story, we face very different crisis’s in our own lives. We live in a world today with such advanced technology compared to the time of the Joad’s and costs of living that would have staggered people from the 1930’s. When they were happy to be getting one dollar a day for picking crops, we pay that much and sometimes much more for a......

Words: 932 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Tki Kdjf

...partner, Mrs. Robinson. Uncomfortable with his sexuality, Benjamin and Mrs. Robinson continue an affair during which she asked him to stay away from her daughter, Elaine. Things became complicated when Benjamin was pushed to go out with Elaine and he falls in love with her. Mrs. Robinson sabotaged the relationship and eventually the affair between Mrs. Robinson and Benjamin is discovered. Understandably, Elaine runs back to college. Benjamin follows her to school determined not to let her get away and ultimately disrupted her wedding. In the end, Elaine runs off with Benjamin uncertain about her pre-determined destination. “The Graduate” cannot possibly begin to unravel the several very complex themes that run throughout the film. The coming of age story as the film attempted to relay a message of innocent being push in an unwanted direction through a society filled with expectations. It focuses on the development and the maturing of the young college graduate and his journey from child to adult as well as sex and relationship. It captures what it is to be young, restless, skeptical and confused. It is reflective of a time when no one has any idea what the future has in store. It is Benjamin’s notion of the uncertainty of reaching adulthood, the struggling to accept this transformation and the idea of how frightening the future really is. The obscurity of the certainty in becoming established and successful adult, the film relies heavily on the imagery of fish and water. In......

Words: 332 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Vernissage

...ESSAY – VERNISSAGE In the short story “Vernissage”, written by Claire Anderson-Wheeler, we meet a young boy named Alex. Alex is facing the dilemma whether he wants to stay in childhood or move on and enter adult¬hood. Alex’s parents, John and Frances, are having trouble figuring out their marriage. These troubles affect their son, and make him decide, that he wants to grow up and become an adult. The coming of age is the dominating theme through the story. Alex is a young boy, which exact age we do not know, but trough the story he seems like a boy who is being at the crossroads between childhood and adulthood. In the opening of the story, we can trough comparison with his mother se that Alex is clearly on a different level. On page 1 Alex is being a child by thinking of the fact that he did not get the subject beetles, which he wanted but instead he got earthworms, as a problem. Frances does not manage to understand his problem, which illustrate the differences between them and their experiences in life. Alex is using his imagination very much, which makes him childish as well. Alex likes to think of the dad’s vernissage as a person, he stretches out the word and transforms it to a persons name: Vernie Sadge. In this quotation Alex describes what “Vernie Sadge” would look like and how he would be: It is obvious that Alex does not like “Vernie Sagde”. Alex knows that the vernissage is to blame for the troubles between his parents. Later on (page 2), Alex is......

Words: 1036 - Pages: 5