The Theme Of Coming Of Age In Literature Essay

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The Theme of Coming of Age in Literature

There comes a time is each person's life when they reach the point where they are no longer children, but adults. The transition from a child into a young adult is often referred to as the "coming of age," or growing up. The time when this transition occurs is different in everyone, since everyone is an individual and no two people are alike. Certain children reach this stage through a tragic, painful event which affects them to such extent that they are completely changed. Other children reach this time by simply growing older and having a better understanding of the world around them. The coming of age really is indefinite and cannot be marked in general overview. This stage in
life
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Among the African Gusii, for example, girls are at about age nine, boys at twelve years old; Thonga boys may be sixteen. Boys rites often involve seclusion from women, hazing by older males, test of manliness, and genital operations, including circumcision. Girls rites are just as bad if not worse with things like removal of the clitoris. In some places in North America, the ritual is individual where as in Africa and Oceania the ritual can be collective.
A plain Indian adolescent boy undertakes a vision quest; he goes out alone into the wilderness, endures hardship, and seeks a vision from his animal guardian spirit; if he gets one, he returns a man.

     Yet a different way for these rituals is group rituals. These often takes months or even years, as among many Australian aboriginal tribes. Novices learn great quantities of information and obey countless taboos. Instructors are men who are strangers to boys. Ritual pulls the boy from childhood, especially from his mother. He moves from the category of women and privileged children toward the privileged one of the adult males. Such rites maintain adult male togetherness and strengthen cultural continuity. They resolve boys conflicts about sexual identity and establish clear attitudes toward fathers and mothers. Such rites dramatize the power of older over younger males and state that "only women can make babies: but only men can make

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