Growing up is a current issue nowadays with children and youngsters seeming to enter the adult world earlier and earlier and having to take on the responsibilities of adults. When does a child become an adult? For many the right answer is that it has nothing to do with age; it is determined by the behaviour. In this essay I will not go into the issue of when a child turns into an adult but rather think about how the issue is treated in "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess, "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger and "High Fidelity" by Nick Hornby.
From the point of view of growing up, the novels are quite similar. They are all from the point of view of the youngster, and we don't really see too far what happens after the process of growing up, whether it turns out to be a good thing or not. There are differences as well, though: For example the main characters' attitude towards growing up. In High Fidelity, Rob would like to grow up and get on with his life. He isn't happy with his record shop Championship Vinyl or with the fact that he has exactly two friends, his employees, Barry and Dick, who know nothing about his personal life and his thoughts. Rob envies everyone who is successful in life, and despises people who host dinner parties and talk about dogs' names and use pens with little lights when writing notes at the cinema. He would like to grow out of it, but doesn't know how to; he needs the initial push which starts with Laura leaving him.
Contrary to this, Alex in A Clockwork Orange doesn't want to grow up. He loves his life on the streets, robbing and beating people up. However, he makes a crucial mistake, he lets his ambitions get the best of him which leads to his friends turning their backs on him and Alex has to go to prison. Because of his immaturity he wants to be the leader of his gang and that is the process that starts the growing up, against his will.
Adults are seen in quite the same way in all three novels. They are boring,...
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