The Ignorance of Adolescence: A Behavioral Influence
Adolescence is a time when children begin to experience heightened emotions and are unable to suppress them. These waves of new feelings tackle the confused and curious minds of the young, building up tension in their bodies and minds. Eventually, this tension comes out in various acts of rage, rebellion, and depression, but something must be an influence to these acts. Elsa Bernstein’s Twilight and Frank Wedekind’s Spring Awakening showcase these various emotions and address the influencers of these actions as the adults in the plays. Parents during the late 1800s seemed to have superior roles in influencing the children of that time. Whether children were influenced to behave or rebel, the actions of the elders in these plays caused for great emotional changes in each child character. Along with loneliness and depression, extreme feelings of love and lust, as well as pressure to succeed, are deeply felt by the young. Each adult figure influences a child character in some way. This influence is responsible for the child’s reaction to a specific situation. When the adults in both plays do not recognize the child’s current state of emotion, the children’s fate ends much more extreme, than if the adults had acknowledged the struggling feelings of the young. Adolescence brings out multiple emotions which cause children to become vulnerable to change and higher influences. In Twilight, of Adolescenceedgment xtreme, than if the adults acknowledged the struggling feelings of the young. ld'er children were influen Isolde displays her most dramatic feelings of loneliness and depression in act three. At this point, Ritter and Sabine have been spending much time together, rather than with Isolde who is used to constant admiration from her father. While on page 50 Isolde asks her father if he loves her, he admits to loving her more than anything else, more than Grandmamma. This notion of love dwindles away and causes Isolde to feel lonely, her only confidant becoming Carl, an adolescent as well. Isolde’s depression is prominent when she exclaims, “Before this, he wouldn’t have refused me – it’s all her fault, hers! Without her, he’d never ever have dared. (Suddenly jumps up with a wild outcry.) What do I care about the hat! But I want my papa back, my papa! Carl, if he doesn’t love me anymore, if he loves her now, the clever one – then I’ll jump out of the window, so they find me dead on the ground” (Bernstein 92). Not only does the ignorance of her father hurt her, but because he now visibly loves another female, it breaks Isolde’s heart, therefore leaving her to feel alone and depressed. Her cry for death escalates her pain to the point where the reader may ask: if the father did not lose himself in love, acknowledged his daughter a little more, would Isolde’s final fate of blindness still have occurred? Melchior from Spring Awakening deals with his variation of loneliness due to a decision made from his parents. By receiving a note from Wendla’s mother, Mr. and Mrs. Gabor find out that Melchior wanted to show Wendla his remorse for sinning against her, and that he takes responsibility for his actions on her (Wedekind 66). Realizing that their son has committed a lustful sin, they agree to send him away to a reformatory. At this point, Melchior is mourning the death of his best friend Moritz, and now in a reformatory, he is lonely and upset how Wendla, “hates me- she hates me because I stole her freedom. No matter what I do, it’s still rape” (Wedekind 69). Since Mr. and Mrs. Gabor were judgmental about their son’s act, they did not consider the emotional baggage that Melchior was carrying around. This ignorance to their sons built up guilt and sadness causes Melchior to become depressed and eventually rebel against the reformatory rules and run away. One of the most difficult emotions that parents in these plays struggled to acknowledge were the feelings of love and lust,...
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