Growing up will always be a greatly discussed topic for writers, regardless of genre, time period or their own personal experiences. Stories about growing up have been a part of fiction throughout history, with great authors such as J.M Barrie, CS Lewis and even Stephen King adding their own contributions. The pieces discussed in this essay have very different views on growing up and are told from very different perspectives. One from an elderly man wishing his granddaughter would stay young forever and one from a young boy trying to be much older then his respective years.
Flight, by Doris Lessing, is the story of an old man’s struggle to accept his granddaughters desire to get married and his own negative feelings on marriage. Lessing was raised in Zimbabwe in the 1930’s, by a mother determined to keep a strict Edwardian lifestyle, which may have been responsible for Lessing‘s opinions on marriage. Lessing is quoted saying "There is a whole generation of women and it was as if their lives came to a stop when they had children.” DorisLessing.org, 2012, [online]. The protagonist, the Grandfather, has similarities in his opinions to that of Lessing’s own. Which is that marriage is for when you are ready to give up on a life of your own.
Compass and Torch, by Elizabeth Baines, is the story of a camping trip between a young boy and his father. The pair have not spent time alone together since the father’s divorce from the boy’s mother, a year earlier. Their relationship has been damaged by their estrangement which they both are trying to repair, although they are not capable of it in just one night. The primary character of the story is the boy, with the majority of the story being told from his perspective.
Both of the authors use characterisation as a method to portray the theme of growing up. In Flight, the grandfather is...