To Sir Lade On His Coming Of Age Analysis

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Growing up and moving towards adulthood is a major transition in one’s life. In both Johnson’s “To Sir Lade, on His Coming of Age” and Housman’s “When I was One-and-Twenty” explain the new trials one might encounter when becoming a man. Both poems utilize a bildungsroman technique as they explain how one comes of age and grows in maturity. They also incorporate humor along with personal experiences to allow the reader to relate to the author, making it easier to accept the advice that is given. Although the poems are very similar in purpose, they have contrasting tones that express two different perspectives of becoming an adult. Both authors would agree that life as an adult is extremely difficult, but one has hope for a future while the other only sees ruin and despair. In both Johnson and Housman’s poems the bildungsroman technique is used to display how one enters adulthood and the battles that come along with this new coming of age, twenty-one. When one turns the age twenty-one, he is no longer kept on a leash. He is now responsible enough to be “loosened from the minor’s tether” (Johnson). In other words, successfully circling the earth twenty-one times comes with new freedoms, but with freedom can come temptations. As a child, one is protected by their mother and never has to worry about what is happening in the world around them. The mother will not allow her child to experience the cruelness the world has to offer, but as a young boy becomes a man he is free to be

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