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Three Initiation Stories Essay

Decent Essays
Initiation is typically described as the beginning of something. Initiation stories, however, involve placing the main character through a changing experience, which causes them to initiate into a new part of their life. The three initiation stories being explored in this essay are Boys and Girls by Alice Munro, Stepdaughters by Max Apple, and Gorilla, My Love by Toni Cade Bambara. Together these stories explore the initiations of three adolescents into adulthood and explain that being an adult means to accept and learn to become what society, one’s family, and one’s experiences believe you should be.

Boys and Girls by Alice Munro is a story about a young girl who dreams of being a hero, but is compelled by society to become the reserved
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The step-father’s step daughter is obsessed with shot-putting and desires to be a professional athlete. Her mother, however, does not support this decision. As the story proceeds, the stepfather is torn between choosing his wife’s side or his daughter’s side. By the end of the story the stepfather fully understands the dispute between the wife that he loves and the daughter he strives to be loved by, and he chooses to side with neither.

Gorilla, My Love by Toni Cade Bambara is a story about a little girl who trusted her uncle, Hunca Bubba more than anything, but by the end of the story her trust is broken. The story starts off with an incident where Hazel, the little girl, is angered by an adult who lied to her, causing her to burn down a theater. It continues, in present time, when Hazel finds out her uncle is getting married. She confronts him about it and confirms the news from him. Hazel is once again angered when another flashback shows that Hunca Bubba promised to marry her. Hazel is hurt by her uncle, and the story ends with Hazel stating that adults act untrustworthy and do not even apologize after.

In Boys and Girls, Alice Munro shows how the young girl in the story turns into an adult when she is pressured by her family and society to become a genteel woman instead of a little girl who works outdoors
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