John Redding Goes To Sea Analysis

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In Zora Neale Hurston’s short story, “John Redding Goes to Sea”, the main character John Redding struggles with standing out in his small hometown. This theme can also be seen several times throughout many other works in modern society. Two of which being John Green’s Paper Towns and Footloose. All of these stories focus on the ideas of a coming of age story – and how to find who you really are in the real world. In “John Redding Goes to Sea”, John Redding is described as a queer and puzzling child (Hurston 1815). No one in the town understands John – and neither does his own mother – they all find him strange due to his imaginative nature. Growing up with such an imagination, and living in such a small community, John had dreams of exploring…show more content…
You see how fake it all is. It’s not even hard enough to be made out of plastic. It’s a paper town. I mean look at it…look at all those cul-de-sacs, those streets that turn in on themselves, all the houses that were built to fall apart. All those paper people living in their paper houses, burning the future to stay warm. All the paper kids drinking beer some bum bought for them at the paper convenience store. Everyone demented with the mania of owning things. All the thing paper-thin and paper-frail. And all the people, too. I’ve lived here for eighteen years and I have never once in my life come across anyone who cares about anything that matters. (Green…show more content…
While reading the book, it is very clear that the reader is supposed to understand that we only know Margo through Q’s eyes. As the book progresses, it is obvious that Q does not really know Margo, but he sees her as perfect; “Margo’s beauty was a kind of sealed vessel of perfection – uncracked and uncrackable” (Green 47). When he makes the journey to solve her clues, he begins to learn about who Margo really is as a person. The moment that Q finds Margo in Agloe, and she tells him the reason she will not return with him, he starts to realize that no one is perfect. Not even Margo. When he tells Margo goodbye, he sees her as a cracked vessel (270). He sees her as she really is – imperfect and human. Q may not have had a desire to take get out of town to find himself, but on the journey to find Margo he found empathy; which is a journey in itself.
Another example of a young adult trying to find himself is the main character in Footloose, Ren McCormack. Ren did not make the choice to move to the small town of Bomont, but he did not enjoy moving there. He stood out and wanted to return to Chicago. He started off hating his life in the small town, but after meeting Ariel and finding passion in changing small town minds he starts to find himself. He stands up to the religious power in Bomont – fighting for his freedom of expression and making friends along the
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