Coming of Age in Two Novels: Lorde & Kincaid

What does it mean to become an adult? Many issues could be brought up and discussed when asked this question. However, only a few important issues come to mind. For instance, with adulthood come many new responsibilities.

Furthermore, many will be initiating college, while others may be starting families, beginning new jobs, or simply going through tribulations. When we consider works such as From the House of Yemanja, by Audre Lorde and Girl, by Jamaica Kincaid, it is clear that writers not only write about general concerns but also about what affects them directly as they grow up.

For example, Audre Lorde’s short poem From the House of Yemanja showcases a daughter who needs her mother’s help in a desperate time of need. However, her mother is not around to help relieve her pain. She has no brothers to turn to and she doesn’t get along with any of her sisters. It is sad to think about, but many families deal with this sort of problem day in and day out.

Adulthood is a major step in everyone’s life and it is important to remember that having someone to talk to is very important.

The short story Girl, by Jamaica Kincaid, is another work that describes the troubles of becoming an adult. Throughout the story, a young lady sits and listens to her mother babble on and on about everything. The mother is so concerned about her daughter that whenever the young lady tries to make a comment or answer her mother’s questions, her mother simply ignores her.

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For instance, is it true that you sing benna in Sunday school?; always eat your food in such a way that it won’t turn someone else’s stomach; on Sundays try to walk like a lady and not the slut you are so bent on becoming; don’t sing benna in Sunday school; you mustn’t speak to wharf-rat boys, not even give directions; don’t eat fruits on the street-flies will follow you, but I don’t sing benna on Sundays at all and never in Sunday school (Literature and Society 72).

Parents often ignore their kids when they are lecturing them because they want to prove their points without being interrupted. Another reason is that they won’t be able to relate or connect to anything their child says. However, it’s very important that parents either get help or learn to deal with problems such as these. If they don’t their child may rebel, which can often lead to additional problems in the future.

Besides dealing with parents young adults must decide whether to begin college or go directly to work after high school. Those who choose to work tend to start families earlier than those who go to college. These people not only have to fulfill the role of being a good parent, but they must also provide food on the table and clothes for their children.

This takes a lot of hard work and dedication. This may be the hardest part of one’s life, but it is well worth it in the long run. Although some may choose to work and start a family, many go to college as well. An increasing number of people are selecting this route because college has become more affordable due to financial aid and student loans. It is all up to the individual to get the best education he or she can get. The more effort one puts in, the better the education will be. One can make college easy or hard. It all depends on what you put into it and how well you manage your time. Many people will be finding new friends to hang out with. Some of these friends will most likely want to party all the time. However, it’s important to remember that school comes first, and to succeed you must prioritize your activities. This is what being an adult is all about. You must act responsibly and do what it takes to prosper.

In conclusion, growing up is not easy. Being an adult means taking on new responsibilities that we never even imagined. Whether we go to school or work and start a family, we must make important decisions that may affect us for the rest of our lives.

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Coming of Age in Two Novels: Lorde & Kincaid. (2022, Aug 06). Retrieved from

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