Essay about The Theme of Coming of Age in Literature

1863 Words Dec 17th, 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
life
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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…