The Teenagers Maturation Process in the Young-Adult Literature

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The theme of the teenagers maturation became the central theme in the young-adult literature. The most interesting ways of presenting such theme by using the genre of fantasy in young-adult literature, combining the description of the teenagers maturation process with some philosophical ideas. The Less interesting way of the description of the teenagers maturation process is by using realistic portraying of it. The striking examples of such techniques of presenting this theme are the books: A Wizard of Earthsea created by Ursula Kroeber Le Guin; and The Perks of Being a Wallflower written by Stephen Chbosky. These books seem very different, but they have some resemblance.

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Many people think that a very popular young-adult novel A Wizard of Earthsea is a simple fantasy tale without any great ideas, but others do not agree. One argument in support of this story is the philosophical idea of the finding yourself and control the bad features of your character. It is true that this story is written in a form of a legend. But using this technique Ursula K. Le Guin describes the teenagers maturation process paying attention to the choosing a future profession by a teenager. She also vividly describes how one finds his\herself. At the end of the book the main character, a young wizard called Ged finds his inner equilibrium rectifying the consequences of a mistake done by him at his teenage.

The story in A Wizard of Earthsea begins with the brief information about the main characters childhood and the explanation why he decided to study wizardry. Geds study begins at his yearly teens when he was a prentice of a wizard. But the basic descriptions of the teenagers maturation started from the episode when Ged entered the magic school on the island of Roke. In school episodes one can find the presentation of the relationships among the teenagers. Portraying boys pranks and the competition among the apprentices Ursula K. Le Guin shows the teenagers behavior. In comparison, with the older apprentices, she explains how her characters are changing, becoming older, wiser and more serious and composed in the last school episodes. You can decide that these episodes are simple descriptions of a school life, but the truth is that this description is personally oriented, presented from the point of view of the person who knew well the main character. So, one should note here that the novel A Wizard of Earthsea is written as a third person narration.

On the contrary, the other famous young adult story The Perks of Being a Wallflower was written as a first-person narration. In spite of the fact that it is an epistolary novel, but it is undeniable that it was written as a diary. Stephen Chbosky made his novel in a form of the letters to the unknown friend, whom the character has never met in reality. In the novel, the teenage boy even mentions that he writes letters instead of a diary in order to nobody can find his notes. In these letters he describes the situations in which he participated and his feelings.

In contrast to the novel A Wizard of Earthsea, in The Perks of Being a Wallflower the teenagers maturation is presented through Charlies relationships with Patrick and Sam and their company and also Charlies relationships with his sister.

Although in The Perks of Being a Wallflower one cannot find a great philosophical idea as in A Wizard of Earthsea; in his book Chbosky presents such social problems as introversion, drug use, and drinking a lot of alcohol by the teenagers. But both the authors portray such an important thing in teenagers life as friendship. In her A Wizard of Earthsea Ursula K. Le Guin describes the friendship between Ged and Vetch. When Ged met his school friend after two years of voyagers and explained Vetch his problem; Vetch decided to help his friend in spite of the fact that Ged didnt want to endanger his best friend. So, Vetch helped Ged to abolish the consequences of his teenage fault. As well as in this story in The Perks of Being a Wallflower his friends help Charlie to find his way in life and to go through his depression by reason of his only middle-school friend Michael committed suicide.

Likewise, in A Wizard of Earthsea, in The Perks of Being a Wallflower the main character finds himself at the end of the story. However, The Perks of Being a Wallflower describes a very short period of Charlies life and the reader knows very little about the characters childhood. The author gives this information through Charlies memories.

Noticeable that, in A Wizard of Earthsea, the main character has a tutor who teachers Ged not only the mastery, but shows him his way in a life and teaches Ged wisdom. Ogion helped Ged to find himself, taught him to control his bad features and gives him the basic knowledge about the world around him. "You've drawn too much water from that well. Wait. Manhood is patience. Mastery is nine times patience. What is that herb by the

path?" ( Ursula K. Le Guin, p 11)

Same as in the previous novel, in The Perks of Being a Wallflower there is also a tutor. One can argue that Mr. Anderson is only an English teacher, who gives a talented boy extra tasks, but an attentive reader notice that Anderson helps his pupil to develop his writing skill and to go through life problems giving Charlie some advices.

Compared to A Wizard of Earthsea, there is bright description of the teenage boys relationship with his parents in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Charlie spends a lot of time with his relatives and writes a few words about his family. A striking example of this element of the plot is the paragraph where Charlie describes his feeling to his parents: For me personally, as much as I don't understand my mom and dad, and as much as I feel sorry for both of them sometimes, I can't help but love them very much. (Stephen Chbosky, p 14). Correspondingly, there is less information about teenage boys relationship with his parents in A Wizard of Earthsea. The reader can find brief information about Ged and his relations with his family. there was no one to bring the child up in tenderness. He grew wild, a thriving weed, a tall, quick boy, loud and proud and full of temper. [] when he was strong enough to push and pull the long bellows-sleeves, his father made him work as smith's boy.(Ursula K. Le Guin, p 1-2).

Meanwhile, in A Wizard of Earthsea the main character seems older than he is. He was as tall and strong as the fifteen-year-olds, and quick to return either a good word or a jeer; so he made his way among them and even that first night began to live as one of them and learn their work. (Ursula K. Le Guin, p 17). This quotation confirms the idea that Ged is wiser and more experienced than the other thirteen years old boys, so it explains why he makes friends with the older apprentices during his study. One can say that in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Charlie also has friends, who are older, but he seems younger and less experienced and his friends taught him a lot of things.

Eventually the book A Wizard of Earthsea seems a better example of the description of the teenagers maturation process because of its short explanations of the characters past and of the vivid portraying of his adolescence and the stress of the correction of a fault made in his teenage. It gives more philosophy than the realistic The Perks of Being a Wallflower which is full of stereotypes. Despite the fact that the general conceptions are the same, the teenagers maturation process are better portrayed in the fantasy book because of its philosophy and absents of the parents than in the realistic book with its psychological and social problems.

Works Cited

Chbosky, Stephen. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. N.p., 1999. Web. <>.

Jahelkova, Lenka. A Teenager Reflected in Anglophone Young Adult Literature in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century. Bachelors Diploma Thesis. Masaryk University, 2015. 2015. Print.

LeGuin, Ursula K. A Wizard of Earthsea. N.p., 1968. Print.

Wahlstrom, Ingri. Intertextuality in The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Coming- of - Age Novels in the Twentieth Century. MA thesis. Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 2014. 2014. Print.

Yuen, Isaac. "Know Thyself: A Wizard of Earthsea." N.p., 5 Mar. 2012. Web. <>.

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