There are many ways to grow up. It can be physical, mental and emotional. The journey of growing up can be a scary, seemingly never-ending whirlwind. Some parts, like falling in love, are positive. Others, like losing faith in what you once believed in (like Santa Claus), can be saddening, confusing and change the way you look at certain aspects of your everyday life. During this journey you not only learn about yourself, but others as well. You learn who you can trust, who you can rely on and who you should stay away from. The journey can be painful and disheartening at times though, but it happens to all of us, so we’re never alone. Both Maestro by Peter Goldsworthy and ABC/BBC’s Dead Gorgeous explore growing up in Australia. The experiences the characters from both texts have are all about growing up in Australia.
The main issue teenagers seem to have is the feeling that acceptance into certain ‘popular’ groups is key to success and happiness. In Maestro, after moving to Darwin, Paul abandons his first friend from Darwin, Bennie Reed, to join ranks with his bullies and the ‘popular’ boys. Paul fantasises about the idea of power and popularity, leaving the person he should have stayed with and supported by himself. Later, as he reflects on his past, he realises what he did and ponders why. Why was popularity so important that he would try to befriend the guys who were bullying him and his friend? Because he was a teenager and felt the need for a position of power. The same thing happens in Dead Gorgeous. Rebecca, the eldest of the Ainsworth girls, believes that she should not waste her second shot at life. She says ‘maybe [the popular girls] will accept me and my life will truly begin’, showing how important she believes it is. She is willing to go to great lengths for acceptance, but she eventually realises that they were never going to accept her anyway. She realises that sometimes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side anyway, as does Paul when...
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