The Theme of Coming of Age in Literature
Topics: Boy, Coming of age, To Kill a Mockingbird, Male, Man, Female / Pages: 8 (1860 words) / Published: Oct 9th, 1999

The Theme of Coming of Age in Literature

There comes a time is each person's life when they reach the point where they are no longer children, but adults. The transition from a child into a young adult is often referred to as the "coming of age," or growing up. The time when this transition occurs is different in everyone, since everyone is an individual and no two people are alike. Certain children reach this stage through a tragic, painful event which affects them to such extent that they are completely changed. Other children reach this time by simply growing older and having a better understanding of the world around them. The coming of age really is indefinite and cannot be marked in general overview. This stage in life is one of the most important and most popular themes in literature. The coming of age theme is found in one of the one of the best coming to age stories that have ever been written. Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird is a sensitive touching portrayal of a young boy who grows up through shocking yet realistic events. Although many people are only aware of the coming of age theme through literature and other forms of entertainment, there is also a very realistic part to this event in a person's life which is often ignored. The coming of age is an event which is often celebrated in many different cultures, through rituals or ceremonies. The rituals, also known as passage rites, mark the passing of a person from one stage of life to the next: birth, infancy, childhood, adulthood, old age, and death. The coming of age is celebrated along with birth, and death because it is known as a universal life crises. Evoking anxiety, these crises often elicit passage rites. Arnold Van Gennep stated that "Passage rituals have three steps: separation from society; inculcation-transformation; and return to society in the new status." (1995, Grolier Encyclopedia)

All passage rituals serve certain universal functions. "They serve to

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