The transition from being a boy to becoming an adult is intriguing because it is a time where the boy discovers a sense of who he will grow to be in the future. Herbert Otto claims, “Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life.” In other words, Otto believes that if a person tries out a new experience and takes a chance, then a transformation in their life will occur. For example, “Araby” by James Joyce, is about a young boy who finds himself in lust with his friend’s sister; his feelings for her are consistent until shortly after he refuses to buy her a souvenir from Araby. Another short story that illustrates Otto’s claim is “The Man Who Was Almost a Man” by Richard Wright; in this short story, Dave is anxious to become a man and is frustrated by people referring to him as a boy, so he decides to buy a gun to assure people he is no longer a boy, but a man. Both stories illustrate Otto’s claim, however “The Man Who Was Almost a Man” better illustrates Otto’s claim because the reader can see how the narrator’s decisions are not all entirely immature.
The short story “Araby” by James Joyce tells the story of a young boy who finds himself admiring his friend’s sister whose name is not mentioned in the story but is referred to as “Mangan’s sister” or in the third person point of view, “she” and the narrator of the story is the boy himself who ultimately changes from being innocent to becoming sexually aware of the opposite sex. Joyce’s short story takes place in the late 1800s in Dublin, Ireland, where a vast majority of the population was Christian. In the beginning, the narrator is playing on the street with Mangan and e...
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...take. Shooting his gun with his eyes closed and his head turned is what got him into his situation in the first place and he now knows better than to repeat this childish action. So, by correcting himself, Dave shows that he is one step closer to becoming a man.
Both short stories illustrate Herbert Otto’s claim about growing up. “Araby” shows how the narrator grows as a character and realizes when he is being deceived by his own feelings that turn out to be lust. “The Man Who Was Almost a Man” illustrates how one must learn from one’s mistakes to change one’s life and grow up. While both short stories clearly illustrate Otto’s claim, Wright’s story better illustrates Otto’s claim because he elucidates better on how a person will make foolish child mistakes, but ultimately use that mistake to better themselves so that they may become one step closer to growing up.
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