Essay on Coming of Age: A Thematic Unit Plan

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Coming of Age: A Thematic Unit Plan

Everyone knows that growing up is not an easy thing to do. In fact, the teenage years can be one of the most tumultuous stages of a person’s life. Changes take place daily, making it seem as though a person has no control over his life. These years often are marked by feelings of insecurity, hostility, and uncertainty. Despite this, however, the fact remains that the teenage years also serve as a time of personal growth and maturation. Because these years are so important, it is my belief that schools would be wise to consider adding a unit devoted to the study of texts that chronicle this growth process. I believe that many students would benefit greatly from a curricular unit centered around
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The second novel to be featured is Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. This work was chosen for several reasons. First and foremost is the fact that it fits into the mold of a coming of age novel. This book is unique, however, because it provides a female perspective on the processes of growth and self-discovery. This viewpoint serves as a counterbalance to the masculine approach of Holden Caulfield. Despite obvious differences in plot action, however, the fact remains that both of these works provide insight into the coming of age process via the format of a classic novel. The connection between these two books lies in the fact that both Holden Caulfield and Jane Eyre must overcome certain societal paradigms in order to approach a state of relative happiness (Singleton).

Although literary classics seem to have an indelible place in modern English curricula, many students nevertheless seem to have a difficult time relating to characters whose lives take place in a society so radically different from their own. In order to provide these students with literary works that may be more relatable, this unit will incorporate several pieces of contemporary literature. The book Speak, written by Laurie Anderson, serves as the first such work. This book centers on the struggles of a young girl just beginning high school. Throughout its course, Speak utilizes a

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