Coming of Age - a Long Way Gone

Coming Of Age
In a coming of age novel the character matures as the story goes on due to the obstacles they face in their lives. A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, and The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros are all stories where the main character goes from adolescence to an adult and develops traits of a more mature human being. Ishmael, Esperanza, and Junior develop into a more mature adult by being exposed to lurid and violent environments, coping with new people and places, and deteriorating relationships. Throughout the story, many problems arise that test the abilities of these characters to handle them in a smart and mature way.
Ishmael and Esperanza have experienced some terrifying, gruesome, and disturbing events in their lives. When Ishmael was about to go on his first mission as a soldier, his lieutenant tells of some of the things that the rebels did to their families and how they should retaliate because of it. Some of the things the lieutenant mentions are that how, “Rebels cut off the heads of family members…forces sons to have intercourse with their mothers, hacked newly born babies in half because they cried too much, and cut open pregnant women’s stomachs” (Beah 108). If these children can handle witnessing any of these things and still be sane than they are more mature than most people in this world. In the same way, Esperanza also experiences a disturbing event when she gets raped by Sally’s friend while Sally does nothing to stop them. When she was screaming at Sally the next day she describes how, “The one who grabbed me by the arm, he wouldn’t let go… and pressed his sour cheeks to mine” (Cisneros 100). Esperanza became more mature after this event because she found out that sex isn’t like what she sees on movies and she was able to confront Sally about it rather than be scared of her. As you can see, both of these characters were able to get overcome these terrible...