For anyone to react effectively in a situation, a level of maturity is required in order to think through the correct course of action. A time of constant change, not only of the world at large, but also of the individual is described by Cynthia Rylant. In I Had Seen Castles, Rylant uses the change of the time and of the world’s view to show the change and growth in Diane’s emotional and mental maturity.
The beginnings of the war show the evolution of maturity and how quickly change really can happen. Before the bombing, Diane was described as a "romantic girl," "Not quite a woman," and "waiting for something" (Rylant 4). Stating that Diane is romantic but contrasting it with the fact that she is not a woman gives the impression that though she appreciates the finer points of romance, she still lacks the emotional maturity to effectively express it. What she was waiting for is the man who will give her the chance to experience and show love in the way she wishes that she could. Not long after, “News of the bombing brought her natural sensitivity to its height” and caused her to “[tremble] with emotion” (15). Being sensitive was not entirely uncommon in the 1940s, however, as an adult woman, Diane would more than likely be expected not to tremble at the news. The fact that she did only shows that her mind has not quite yet matured to the point where she can deal with stress on this degree. And as the war presses on, the stress that Diane must carry only continues to worsen.
Mid-war, Diane’s stresses increase as not only the men that fancy her, but also the members of her community begin to see her differently. On many occasions, our narrator would hear Diane “weeping softly in her room” (30). Diane can feel the enormous weight that the men - especially three enlisted men she became engaged to - place upon her because she is unable to simply deny the men their outings. She feels helpless due to the fact that all these men come to her for her...
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