Essay about The Theme of Coming of Age in Literature

1863 Words Oct 19th, 1999 8 Pages
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
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In addition to the different ways that culture celebrates the coming of age it is also one of the worlds most popular and beloved themes in literature.
"The Circus" is a touching story about a man's kindness and how the realization of this played an important part of his son's coming age. In Dan Clark's "The
Circus" , it is obvious how this young man realizes what being kind really means. Clark states that "We didn't go to the Circus that night but we didn't go without." (1995, pg. 4) quote demonstrates that the young man realizes that it is more important to be generous than it was to go to the circus. This was the first step of this young man's transition into the adult life. More often than not, the plot, characters, theme and conflicts in literature deal with the theme coming of age, are very realistic.

Yet another story is Gary Paulsen's "Hatchet" which is a story about one boy who must survive in the wilderness, with only a hatchet as a weapon. This is a story of courage about how one child was forced to transform into an adult in order to endure the circumstances surrounding him. Brian Robeson was stranded on an island, after his plane crashed down while traveling to see his father. He had no food, now way of communication and only a small hatchet to save his life. Through terrifying events, "Hatchet" is the story of one man's struggle to survive. It is obvious how Brian Robeson was forced to "come of age" or "grow