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A Coming Of Age In Marshal’s ‘Saturday Confessions’

809 words - 4 pages

A Coming-of-Age in Marshal’s ‘Saturday Confessions’
Bev Marshall’s short story Saturday Confessions is a coming-of-age story. The theme is about the inner struggle to understand burgeoning sexual maturity within the confines of the morality one has learned. The two forces often run opposite. The story is set in a church, underscoring the turmoil of a young girl named Layla Jay. The author teaches us through Layla Jay that children will experience strife regarding their new feelings associated with puberty and the morals they are taught by society or religion. Marshall’s tale illustrates that children will move from the lessons learned in childhood to becoming teenager; moreover, they may ...view middle of the document...

On multiple occasions she uses words she read in magazines, stolen from her mother, to describe the act, but these descriptions are nebulous. Even if the true meaning of these words escape her, she states, “I could feel the tingling” (Marshall 874) when describing how these words make her feel.
Marshall also implies that children will often experiment to learn about these new feelings. Layla Jay is infatuated with Bobby and wants to explore. “Bobby kissed me,” (Marshall 875) thinks Layla Jay ecstatically. The experience gives her pleasurable positive reinforcement, strengthening the new feelings brought about by puberty. She exclaims, “They [the stories] were all true!” (Marshall 875)
As often is the case, Marshall points out that children will experience conflict over these changes; Layla Jay is no exception. When her grandmother asks her if she liked being kissed she thinks, “I wanted to give her the right answer, to tell her what she hoped to hear [….] there was no use lying, ‘Yes,’ I whispered, I liked it a lot.” (Marshall 876) An example of further conflict, when she is told she is like her grandfather, who Marshall implies in the story was a philanderer, she thinks “This news wasn’t entirely unwelcome.” (Marshall 876) As demonstrated in her and her brother’s games, Layla Jay has learned what the congregation would consider wrong, but the pubescent changes she is undergoing are stronger.
In the end, Marshall points out that...

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