Growing Up In English Literature Essay

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The concept of growing up is enticing and dynamic, and as a result, it is a common theme in literature. In its purest form, growing up is all about learning how to cope with the challenges of living as an individual in a vast world. There are countless different mechanisms that can be employed to cope with the struggles that adults face, but three mechanisms in specific are the most relevant to the concept of growing up. These three mechanisms: isolation, friendship, and acceptance, must be developed in order to be considered grown-up and prepared for the battles of life as an individual. Learning when and how to isolate oneself is an important step on the path to becoming an adult. It is a difficult but necessary tactic that adults employ…show more content…
To isolate himself, Kafka journeys to the cabin in the woods where he can enter another world (symbolized by the forest) where he does not have to deal with the struggles he faces in Takamatsu. The mystical village he travels to with the two soldiers is a place without stress or struggle, but also one of serious isolation. It is here where Kafka realizes that this coping mechanism has been taken too far, and so he leaves. It does not stop him from employing this mechanism again, though. At the end of the book, Kafka tells Oshima that, “I’m going back to Tokyo . . . More and more I’ve been thinking that’s the way to go” (Murakami, 463), and Oshima responds by saying “You’ve grown-up” (Murakami, 463). Oshima realizes that Kafka has grown-up because of Kafka’s conscious decision to take some time to be with himself after a considerable adventure. Furthermore, the same isolation coping mechanism is used by Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. After struggling through academic and social issues at his preparatory school, Pencey Prep, Holden decides to set out on his own, stating, “All of a sudden, I decided what I’d really do, I’d get the hell out of Pencey—right that same night and
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