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Awards Essay

1359 words - 5 pages

Adolescence and Change of the Person Adolescence is an abyss between innocent childhood and individual adulthood. Adolescence has been a time of contemplation and self-discovery all through history. The search to find oneself in a void between innocence and the real world is a hard but constant query. " Who am I?" Is a question that everyone at one point in time has asked herself. We sometimes try to force ourselves into what we want to be and what our society thinks we should be, but sometimes that is not who we become and we are very unhappy. As we go on, though, in our constant search for ourselves we do find ourselves whether it is what we wanted to find or not. In Human Comedy, Great Expectations, A Separate Peace, and The Catcher in the Rye adolescence is a search for oneself, deliberation over correct identity, and final acceptance of oneself, whether it is good or bad. Many times when one hits this limbo between childhood and adulthood there is an abrupt shock. Childhood is thought of as a "vision of peace" (Knowles 115), which is oblivious to anything bad, but shielded from the real world. Adulthood is an exact opposite; it is seeing the world in all its tainted glory. Some people can stand to leave one behind for the other. Finny won't leave behind a life of innocent games, fun and peace where he is in "exaltation" (Knowles 67), the " god" (67) of everything undisturbed. Holden wants not just to stay there but also to be its protector. He would "rub out" (Salinger 201) the contamination of the real world. They want to live forever in this non-reality and want to protect it for others. People spend their lives trying to figure out who they are, and they go through pain and suffering to find the real them. Gene is sick of hearing of pain and suffering, he hates the idea that he could be a bad person he " didn't want to hear any more of it, ever" (Knowles 143) because he did want to hear the pain and suffering that happens in the real world that he is about to enter and become a part of. Finny screams for Brinker to "get every f---ing fact in the world" (Knowles 169) because he does not want to know the incriminating facts; he does not want to know that facts of the world he is going into. Mr. Mechano shows Ulysses the real world: fake people who fool you, and Ulysses doesn't like that. It puts " terror in his heart" (Saroyan 152) that he hadn't had before. He doesn't want the pain of growing up, and meeting more of these phonies, and maybe becoming one himself. Sometimes in life we can be influenced by our surroundings or soul to be something we are not. Pip feels the strains he puts on himself to be a gentleman, or what he thinks Estella wants. He believes " the influence of my expectations on my character were not at all good." (Dickens 254) He is straying from his original, happy existence to be what others what him to be and not the real Pip. Gene...

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