Adolescent Separation and Individuation Essay

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Adolescence serves the purpose of reorganizing the self and abandoning the security of childhood in the quest to forge a new identity. As adolescence sets in, teens naturally proceed through the ongoing task of separation and individuation from the family unit. Even under optimal circumstances, some teens face anxiety surrounding the new sense of responsibility; others appear to seamlessly leave this phase behind prepared for the accountability that comes with adulthood. Regardless of how difficult or simple this process may seem from the outside, those undergoing this growth are faced with an immeasurable amount of uncertainty and even a sense of nostalgia for the loss of childhood. In the most ideal of conditions, one undoubtedly…show more content…
He retells the memory of his family’s arrival at Auschwitz and the moment he and his father were separated from his mother and sisters. During this time, Wiesel became aware of the impending changes in his family structure and began to recognize his dependence on his father. He describes the moment he parted from his mother and explains, “already I felt the pressure of my father’s hand: we were alone” (27). Earlier in the book, he describes his father as “unsentimental” and “never [having] any display of emotion. He was more concerned about others than his own family” (2). Prior to deportation, Wiesel did not hold a close relationship with his father, and the pressure he now feels from his hand most likely arises from the new feeling of his father’s physical presence and his newly formed dependence on him. As he continues, “I had one thought- not to lose him. Not to be left alone” (27), he displays his desperation to retain some of the security of his childhood. Wiesel equates his own survival as being linked to his father’s presence and support; in doing so, he divulges immature thoughts related to a juvenile-like state of mind. As Wiesel and his father become acquainted to life in the camp, they make every effort to continue as a cohesive unit. At one point, the two are separated from the group and Wiesel explains, “We did not yet know which was the better side…which road led to the prison and which to the crematory.
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