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How Kipling's "Captains Courageous" Reflects the Position of Young Adults in Today's Society

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"Captains Courageous" written by Rudyard Kipling, tells of a boy spoiled by the immense wealth of his family. This boy would not do a hard days' work for the life of him. His father pampered him with servants and little discipline. His mother would not discipline him either. This book shows the effect of lax discipline on the young. Harvey, the boy, had no respect towards his elders nor superiors. He did not care to work, but to merely order those around him to work. He thought that all men could be bought and thought very linearly. Neither did he care for other men, nor did they care for him. Many thought him crazy or insane. He projected an air of smugness, arrogance, and cockiness. He thought most men to be below his consideration. After he fell overboard and a nearby fishing vessel picked him up did he start to change. He spent many long months aboard this fishing vessel. All the while he "learned the ropes" so to speak. At the beginning he could do little except swab the deck. He bragged of his families immense wealth. He called the men thieves. He would not work and he got punched. Throughout the voyage he learns his lessons, often at the end of a rope, even from a kid his own age. It takes time but throughout the voyage the spoiled young man first introduced changes into a young man any father would be proud of.
In the beginning of the story Harvey walks on the deck of a steam liner that his parents rented. The other passengers on the boat gathered together in the parlor on this deck. Harvey walks in and the men's conversation falls short. Harvey walks in and says "Say, it's thick outside. You can hear the fish-boats squawking all around us. Say, would n't it be great if we ran down one?" (Rudyard 3). This quote alone sh...


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...extreme hit on his pride.
All in all, this book relates to teens better than teens know. They think themselves above the conventional man and in doing so demean themselves in the eyes of those conventional men. It is extremely hard for any teen to admit that they were mistaken. It took Harvey many excruciating months to become aware of his follies. The fact that parents will look the other way when a young adult misbehaves or is in-polite is indicative of why they are this way. Any decent parent will discipline their child even when that child is grown. They will discipline their children through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. The point is, however hard you may try, a young adult is malleable and what you do influences their future and insights. Without discipline and hard work they are being molded into adults who do not work and cannot follow direction.



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