Images and symbolism of youth and a “coming of age” are the themes in April Morning. Describe and analyze Fast’s use of this dual-symbolism in both Adam’s character and in the emergence of a young nation.
The “coming of age” means different things to different people. In the novel April Morning we observe 15 year old Adam Cooper’s rapid transformation from boyhood to manhood, while our great nation begins a metamorphosis of it’s own. The significant events that can sum up these changes include the death of Adam’s father, the brief comfort and advice from Solomon Chandler and the experiences during the battle against the redcoat soldiers that changed our nation forever.
A boy named Adam Cooper had just heard that the redcoats were going to attack and he was ready to sign the muster book. When a young boy goes to war, and sees blood, that is when he becomes a man. “…but I had been Pontiac at least a dozen times, and I had scalps hidden in my room to prove it.” (pg. 192) The game, Pontiac, had been a favorite of the boys in town. They made circles with “red coats” on the outside and “Indians” were on the inside. The Indians were supposed to get eliminated by the redcoats, except for Pontiac. Pontiac would get to choose who’s ever head he wanted from the “redcoats”. Nearly a year later he and his friends are still playing the game, but for real and as men! Boys became men in just under a year. “We were twenty one-strong when we reached Ashley’s Pasture.” (pg. 127) This comes from the coming of age for the young nation. Twenty-one soldiers didn’t know if they had any help for them on the other side of the hill, and all they really knew was that their homeland was in some serious danger and needed some help fast!
There are not many things in life more important than your family. When a family member dies, the impact can be very traumatic. Adam Cooper’s father is a very important character in this novel. The mere presence of Adam’s father,...
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