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Growth of the Two Protagonists in Hornby's Novel, About A Boy Essay

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Nick Hornbys’ novel ‘About a boy’ is a tale of two people growing up in two very different ways. Throughout the novel both the protagonists lead a change of self, which is a direct result of the actions of each other. Essentially both the protagonists allow each other to take a look at the world from a different perspective. The journey that the two characters experience in growing up is alike that of our own growing up, in that we have experiences that allow us to mature and become someone who is accepted by society. Both the characters give each other an insight on the way in which they lead their lives that allows them to better deal with their own problems. Each character helps the other fit in with his social class by showing them the things in life that should be important to them and for this they make them better people. Hornbys novel makes it easy to make parallels between our own life situations and that of the two protagonists, by giving the characters problems which are faced by all people at some stage in their lives.

Wills character undergoes an exceedingly large change throughout the novel. In the beginning scenes Hornby presents Will as a shallow, egotistical man, which is made evident through his interactions with family friends John and Christine. The arrival of Marcus to Wills life brings a great deal of change about. Although at first Will has little compassion for Marcus when they first meet on ‘dead duck day’ the two soon establish a bond. Although Will is used to relationships of convenience, free of any major attachments Marcus brings something different, at first his relationship is simply one of pity. However as Will continues to help Marcus, he only becomes more involved with the family he so despera...


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...a story about growing up for the two protagonists Will and Marcus, but it is also allows the reader to examine certain aspects of their own life which correspond with the problems faced by the main characters. The two main characters are the primary factors in each others development which eventually leads to them being socially accepted by the people around them. The stories’ ending is justified in showing the transformation that has occurred through both of the characters. The sentence affirms Marcus’ change into a teenager as he says ‘I hate bloody Joni Mitchell’ and reinforces the sacrifice Will has made to be with Rachel. The changes that each character makes are phenomenal. This final statement by Hornby is meant to reinforce the change that has occurred in the characters and allow the reader to reflect on changes that may have occurred within their own lives.


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