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3 Stories About Coming of Age

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The definition of coming of age is the attainment of maturity. In these three stories "To Every Thing There Is A Season" by Alistair MacLeod, "The Sunrise on the Veld," by Doris Lessing, and "Stones," by Sandre Birdsell, all of the same theme "Coming of Age." They all go through hardship, pain, and loss. In each of these stories the protagonist realizes reality in three different ways: by facing death, by watching one closest to them get hurt or made a fool, and by realizing his or hers surroundings.

Firstly in the story "Sunrise on the Veld," by Doris Lessing the main character notices the real world by seeing death in a harsh way. In this story their was a boy who lived in South Africa who had just turned 15 years old. In the boys mind he had believed that he could be king of the Universe. Since he did not sleep he thought he could control over his own body. Early in the morning on his birthday he had decided to hunt for the first time, after watching several months of how the natives hunt animals. While running around the vlei full of joy he had came across the buck that had been hurt badly and was being attacked by a crowd of ants."... as he drew in his breath and pity and terror seized him..." Doris Lessing (145) the narrator describes the boy. In this quote it clearly shows that it was one of the first time the boy had seen death and the fact that the boy was shocked at the sight of death. Before the boy was about to shoot the buck from its misery he said to himself ", I can't stop it. I can't stop it. There is nothing I can do." Doris Lessing (146) This is the turning point for the 15 year old boy. It is the part where he recognizes that he was not a king, but instead a naïve boy who didn't know reality. Also, he started accepting the fact that nature never last forever. In conclusion one can perceive truth of reality through experiencing death.

The Second story "Stones" by Sandre Birdsell faces the real world by observing one that is closest to them get hurt or fooled. In the beginning there was a girl named Lureen who was the second eldest in the family. She believed that her mother was the best in the beginning. Until the a new neighbour moved in, the wife Mrs. Hallmans was a woman that was fit, gorgeous, and young. She was the ideal woman in men and women's eyes! Even Lureen admired her instead of her mother but she was ashamed with the fact that her family was poor. The proof of her poorness was when she asked her mother ", Why we didn't have one measly bike." Sandre Birdsell, (174) Lureen was comparing the Hallmans family who were fairly rich with her own family who were poor. After all the days the mother had suffered with talking with Mrs Hallmans, the doctor, Mrs. Hallmans husband came over to flirt with Lureen's mother into giving him the recipe for baking bread. Lureen mother who

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