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Coming Of Age In The First Part Last By Angela Johnson

Decent Essays
The First Part Last Rough Draft If society was asked what defines “coming of age,” what would it say? Some would say people come of age when they act more mature, think grown up thoughts, or do certain actions. This quote by someone unknown helps form an explanation of what coming of age is: “Maturity doesn’t mean age; it means sensitivity, manners, and how you react.” In the literature piece “The First Part Last,” the author Angela Johnson writes about two teenagers, Bobby and Nia, who struggle with the difficulties of teen pregnancy. Throughout the book, they both face many hardships that put their relationship, patience, and responsibility to the test. With the help of a red balloon, a basketball, and family pictures in a doctor’s office, Bobby comes of age after paying attention to these symbols and signs throughout the novel. In the beginning, Nia decides to give Bobby a red balloon on his 16th birthday. While doing this, she says, “Bobby, I have something to tell you.” With this, some conclusions that are drawn are that the news is not positive, and it could mean a drastic change in Bobby’s life. Also, the red balloon has the potential to symbolize many other objects, including Nia’s childhood, innocence, children, and change that is yet to come. For example, since the news is likely about pregnancy, the balloon could represent Nia giving up her innocence and childhood to Bobby, since she has to give up her old life for new responsibilities that come with being a
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