The Theme Of Maturity In Gary Soto's 'Growing Up'

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Maturity is the feeling of needing to prove that one is sophisticated and old enough to do certain things. In the short story “Growing Up,” Maria’s family went on a vacation while she stayed at home, but when she heard there was a car crash that happened near where her family was staying, she gets worried and thinks it is all her fault for trying to act mature and angering her father. Society wants to prove how mature they are and they do so by trying to do things that older people do and the symbols, conflict, and metaphors in the text support this theme. First and foremost, in “Growing Up,” Gary Soto’s theme is how society acts older than they are and that they just want to prove they are mature. Maria wants to stay home instead of going…show more content…
Instead of enjoying her time away from her family, all she thinks about is how they might be hurt and that it is all her fault. Soto says, ”But an ill feeling stirred inside her. She felt awful about arguing with her father. She felt bad for her mother and two brothers, who would have to spend the next three hours in the car with him. Maybe he would do something crazy, like crash the car on purpose to get back at her, or fall asleep and run the car into an irrigation ditch. And it would be her fault.” Maria thinks that it is her fault that her family could get hurt because she angered her father before they left since she wanted to act mature and stay home by herself. She feels like it is all her fault if her family gets injured because she made a fuss over staying home. As well as this, Soto also says, “...she was riddled with guilt, since it was she who would have disturbed her father and made him crash.” Maria has the impression that it is her fault that her father got angry and could hurt their family. She thinks that her father would hurt his family to get revenge on her for not wanting to going on the family
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