Scrum Review Essay, Research Paper
Significant Issues Young People Face
There are many significant issues that young people face as they grow toward adulthood such as romantic illusions, dealing with authority figures, or a first crush or infatuation. These issues are often hard to understand and become learning experiences that they will never forget.
Young people often have romantic illusions about both people and places. When these illusions turn to disillusionment, it can be very hard for them to deal with. In James Joyce s Araby, the boy has romantic illusions about the bazaar in Araby. He thinks the bazaar will be a wonderful event with people everywhere and many beautiful things to choose from. His purpose in going to the bazaar is to buy a gift for Mangan s sister and he wants to impress her with the fact that he was able to go. When he arrives, he quickly finds that the bazaar is not at all like he had imagined. He arrives late and it is cold and dark. Upon entering the building he observes: Nearly all the stalls were closed and the greater part of the hall was in darkness. I recognized a silence like that which pervades a church after a service . A few people were gathered about the stalls which were still open (85). This image is very different from what he was expecting. He tries to remember exactly why he had come to the bazaar and goes to a booth to examine the merchandise. The lady asks if he would like to buy anything but her tone of voice reflects that she really does not care if he does or not. He decides that he will not buy anything after all and turns to leave as the rest of the lights are turned out. At this point he realizes that his reasons for coming to the bazaar were wrong and states, Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger (85). That sentence reveals how disappointed in himself he is and the lesson he has learned about vanity.
An example of a romantic illusion of a person can be found in Willa Cather s A Lost Lady. Niel is in love with what Mrs. Forrester represents. He thinks of her as a lady who is totally devoted to her husband and one that can do no wrong. He recalls seeing her for the very first time and says He was proud now that at the first moment he had recognized her as belonging to a different world from any he had ever known (33). This idea of Mrs. Forrester is crushed when he learns that she is having an affair with Frank Ellinger. He is then very angry and bitter and says, This day saw the end of that admiration and loyalty that had been like a bloom on his existence. He could never recapture it. It was gone, like the morning freshness of the flowers (72). This is a moment that Niel will never forget. He has learned that his vision of Mrs. Forrester was nonsense and feels extremely let down that the person that had been perfect in his mind is not. A lesson learned here is that no one is ever perfect. To build someone up in your mind as perfect is setting yourself up for a let down.
Another issue that young people face is in dealing with authority figures. Young people like to think they already know everything and tend to rebel against authority in some instances. In Cather s A Lost Lady, it is apparent that this is an issue that Ivy Peters will always have trouble with. Ivy s character seems to rebel against authority. For example, he knows that the Forrester s do not permit hunting on their land but is determined to do it anyway. When the boys are having a picnic and run across Ivy, they tell him that he had better hide his gun or Mrs. Forrester will come down and get him. Ivy s response to this is, She can t see us from the house. And anyhow, she can t say anything to me. I m just as good as she is (14). Ivy s statement reveals a lot about his character. At this point, it is obvious that Ivy does not like to be told what to do and as a result, rebels against authority.
In John Updike s story A&P, it is clear that Sammy also has a problem dealing with authority figures. He is disrespectful to his boss just to impress the girls that had come into the store. He also knows that his actions will disappoint his parents but doesn t seem to care about the consequences of his actions. In telling the story about quitting his job he says, Now here comes the sad part of the story, at least my family says it s sad but I don t think it s sad myself (29). It is unclear whether he has learned a lesson from this experience. The statement he makes about not thinking it is sad, gives one the impression that he did not. However, at the end of the story he says, my stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter which gives the impression that he knows that his lack of respect for authority figures will make his life hard in the future.
Dealing with a crush or infatuation is another issue for young people when growing up. This issue ties in closely to that of romantic illusions. Often, young people are all consumed with the person they have the crush on and tend to think of them as larger than life. In Joyce s Araby, the boy has a crush on Mangen s sister. He tells how Every morning I lay on the floor in the front parlour watching her door. The blind was pulled down to within an inch of the sash so that I could not be seen. When she came out on the doorstep my heart leaped (83). He explains that her image was with him always. The boy s image of her was almost that of an angel. When he describes her, it s as if everything in a dark and dingy room lights up because of her presence. When he goes to the bazaar to buy her a gift, he realizes that he really doesn t even know her and is sad to think that perhaps he doesn t really love her after all.
In Cather s A Lost Lady, Niel is infatuated with Mrs. Forrester. As stated above, this issue is closely related to that of romantic illusions. Niel isn t in love with Mrs. Forrester in a romantic way, but is in love with what he thinks she stands for. In his mind, she is the perfect woman. After learning of her affair, his infatuation ends abruptly and he is very upset. He states lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds (72) in describing her after this. Even after learning of the affair, he still cannot understand it. It s clear that he can t get it out of his mind when he later says, He burned to ask her one question, to get the truth out of her and set his mind at rest: What did she do with all of her exquisiteness when she was with a man like Ellinger? (84). Niel s bitterness towards Mrs. Forrester does not diminish until he is much older.
All of these issues have a great impact on growing up. Everyone experiences these issues at some point in growing up and each will leave a lasting impression. Although all are hard to deal with as a child, these experiences shape our lives and are something that must be experienced in order to mature.