The Comparison Of The Theme "Growing Up" In The Novels "The Book Of Ruth" By Jane Hamilton And "Snow Falling On Cedars" By David Guterson.

3109 words - 12 pages

In one's life, the act of growing up can be most difficult. The transition from childhood to adulthood is seen as people gain maturity and become less naïve towards the world. The protagonists in the novels The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton and Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson undergo this very important change. The journey from innocence to experience that Ruth and Ishmael Chambers undergo follows the stages of making mistakes, learning lessons from their mistakes, and applying these lessons to their everyday lives. Coming of age is an important theme explored throughout these novels. The protagonists experience this theme and as a result of it, become full members of society and stronger, wiser people.On the road to growing up, many people will make mistakes. The decisions that people make everyday will have some sort of effect on their lives. Ruth and Ishmael Chambers both make mistakes as a result of their nativity towards the world, and their lack of experiences that they have had with people. Both of these protagonists' mistakes are a clear indication towards how young they are and how much they need to learn before becoming experienced in the world.Ruth and Ishmael Chambers are very naïve towards the world around them, and this causes them to realize they need to mature in order to fit in with society. Ruth never had the chance to socialize with boys during her younger years. She was very shy and her mother was extremely strict about when she needed to be home after school. When Ruth finally did meet a boy she was convinced that they were in love, even though they had only just met. She thinks to herself, "I knew we were meant for each other?it happened that quickly" (Hamilton 112). Since she was naïve in the world she believed that this boy, Ruby, would give her everything she had ever dreamed of. She believed that they were "meant for each other", yet she had nothing to compare this meeting with. She was experiencing new feelings and mistook them for being in love. Ruby was not right for her, and it was obvious that they did not belong together. This mistake took years away from Ruth's life. She spent so much time trying to make their lives work that she did not notice he was a bad person. This nativity is also shown in the character Ishmael Chambers. He grew up with his neighbour Hatsue and always believed that they would end up together. Hatsue realized that they should not be together from the first time that they kissed. She knew that her family would not approve of Ishmael, and that society would not accept them. Her perception of the world was much deeper that that of Ishmael's. She knew that the world was not ready for a mixed race relationship. Ishmael never thought that they would be apart again. During their first kiss Ishmael noticed, "just as soon as they were no longer touching she leapt up?and ran away down the beach" (Guterson 100). Ishmael did not understand that Hatsue realized they were not meant...

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