Coming of age is a procedure of growth and maturity seen within individuals; not an event that is celebrated. Several composers have the ability to express the notion of Coming of Age through creative writing literature and films. This is evident within the two texts; Raw written by Scott Monk and The Breakfast Club directed by John Hughes. Both texts articulate ideas about decisions during Coming of Age define who you are, a group of people can help you grow and realise things and Coming of Age involves controlling your emotions and actions.
The novel, Raw written by Scott Monk follows the story of a troubled male adolescent named Brett Dalton who is caught by the cops for stealing and sent to The Farm for rehab and to change him. Monk explores the idea of decisions during Coming of Age define who you are. This concept is represented in chapter eight in the internal monologue that Brett has while being stranded on the street and not having anyone to rely on; “No, not that, (Liar) No! (Yes!), NO!”. This internal monologue shows that when Brett made the decision of leaving the farm it emphasises that Brett’s personality and characteristic traits that he gives up so easily and depicts him as someone who has not experienced maturity and responsibility. However, it’s the start of him exploring those qualities and developing a conscience. Through the use of internal monologue, Monk is able to articulate the concept of decisions during Coming of Age define who you are.
The film, The Breakfast Club directed by John Hughes follows the story of five teenagers, each a member of a different high school clique who spend a day long Saturday detention together. Hughes film also deals with the concept of decisions define who you are. This particular aspect is conveyed in the character Andrew, the popular jock, when he tells his story of why he is in detention there is a panning shot that circles around him. This panning shot film technique allows the audience to feel a sense of confusion that Andrew is struggling with many obstacles and that his process of Coming of Age will be gradual. Andrew’s decision of bullying his peer was influenced and pressured by his father’s words; “I won’t tolerate any losers in this family”. This quote from his father shows that Andrew is defined as not thinking for himself and his trying to maintain the family reputation of being popular and winning but doesn’t think about his decisions can affect others self-esteem. Even though the characters, Brett and Andrew may contrast each other in some aspects but the thing they have in common is that they don’t think about how their actions might result in consequences.
Also, that neither of them have developed a sense of maturity but at the very beginning of that process. Furthermore, Monk’s novel Raw also portrays the idea of a group of people can help you grow. An example of this idea is shown when Brett’s roommate Robbie is getting bullied and Brett steps in to defend Robbie. The technique imperative language shown in the quote “Get in the car, Frog”, allows the audience to understand that Brett has begun the act of responsibility and maturity and this is the first time the responder sees this in the novel. Throughout the duration of Coming of Age building healthy and strong relationships can assist an individual along the way of growing up and have a sense of identity. With Brett taking control of the situation this allows the audience to comprehend that he sees this as a learning opportunity and experience to gain and start the stage of reliability and it enables him to grow and to start a more mature approach. With the utilisation of imperative language, Monks conveys the notion of a group of people can help you grow.
Also, Hughes film The Breakfast Club deals with the idea of a group of people can help you grow. This notion is seen through the countless mid shots in the scene when the five of the individuals are talking about their experiences and telling stories about themselves. This particular scene in the film is the climax as all five of them come to the realisation that none of them are perfect and coming face-to-face with each other’s insecurities they are able to learn to see beyond the stereotypes that they all have been given. These mid shots also emphasise to the audience although each of them still have their own different problems, they are all faced with the one problem of overcoming the obstacle of their respective stereotypes. Also, these reoccurring mid shots highlight that these five individuals begin a bond and connection and that they have a lot in common. In both Raw and The Breakfast Club the audience comprehends that both of these texts allow the main characters to develop relationships and friendships which can enrich our Coming of Age. As well act as a model we aspire towards, guide individuals through many experiences faced and assist in one’s growth.
In addition, Raw illustrates the theme of Coming of Age involves controlling your emotions and actions. This is clearly seen in the metaphor “He’d lost one fight but won another” after Brett is involved in a dispute with Caitlyn’s dad. This quote expresses the beginning of his formation and transition of Coming of Age and that Brett walked away as he thought about the consequences of what would happened if he stayed and continued the fight. Also, this quote enables the reader to understand that the meaning of this metaphor is that Brett lost the physical fight with Caitlyn’s dad but won the mental fight with his aggression and anger. The use of metaphor depicts the idea of Coming of Age involves controlling your emotions and actions.
The Breakfast Club also displays the concept of Coming of Age involves controlling your emotions and actions. An example of this is seen in the many close up shots of John Bender’s face when the principal threatens him. This shows the start of Bender’s maturity approach as he is able to control his frustration and anger towards the principal’s remarks and he thought about the outcomes if he retaliated. In both Raw and The Breakfast Club, John and Brett have many similar things in common, one of them including that they find it hard to control emotions but in these two particular parts of the texts the audience understands that they are at the start of overcoming this.
Overall, it is apparent that the general notion of Coming of Age is a process seen within many individuals and is expressed through creative writing literature and films. This is evident within the two texts; Raw written by Scott Monk and The Breakfast Club directed by John Hughes. These composers use various strong film and language techniques to allow the audience to understand the several ideas that come with Coming of Age.
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