Essay on Jill McCorckle's Ferris Beach: Loss of Innocence

Essay on Jill McCorckle's Ferris Beach: Loss of Innocence

Length: 1525 words (4.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The most enduring and fragile aspects of one's childhood remains naive innocence. In Jill McCorckle's Ferris Beach, Katie Burns grows up during the course of the novel, loosing her innocence in the process. Hardships, tragedies, and losses dramatically change a person's perception of the world around them. Katie, like almost all children, sees the world through naive and inexperienced eyes as a child, and her perception of the world is filtered through her own imagination and ideas about life. As the child grows up, they face turning points in their life, points when an unmerciful reality strips them of their innocence. Through a series of significant emotional events, Katie loses her own innocence, only to have a harsher, more flawed, and tragic view of the world replace it.

An early plot line in the novel revolves around the emergence of the mystery-shrouded Angela Burns, Katie's cousin. Angela Burns becomes the model of perfection to Katie at a very early age in her life: "It was that day that I attached to Angela everything beautiful and lively and good" (5). Katie's naivete allows her to believe that a person can be perfect, and Katie aspires to one day be Angela. Throughout the novel, however, Angela's image of perfection slowly starts to unravel, and when Katie finally visits Angela's own home, the reality shatters the perfect image. When Katie enters Angela's apartment she sees, "dishes in her sink, sparse furnishings with sandy threadbare upholstery, a floor-to-ceiling lamp with adjustable lights like some kind of insect; a square of lime green shag carpet covered the center of the floor" (267). Such a dismal, repulsive apartment destroys the vision Katie has of Angela's perfect life. This enlightening experience re...


... middle of paper ...


...to deal with her own life better as a child. Now, Angela embarrasses and shames Katie for her innocent dreams as a child. Childhood fantasies often turn out to be just that, fantasies. Katie learns this lesson in a painful way, through the humiliation Angela places on her at a fragile time in Katie's life. Katie's childhood dream becomes a source of pain after Angela mocks her.

 

In the journey from child to adult, many painful barriers must be passed through. In the case of Katie, her experiences with death, love, and imagination all end in hard-learned lessons; lessons which bring her out of innocence and into experience, an experience that seems more cruel and harsh than the image of the world she had as a child. Yet, all of life's roads remain covered with hardships, lessons and tragedies, and maybe the sooner we live to learn with them, the better.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Exploration of Mortality, Sexuality, and Humanity in Ferris Beach

- Exploration of Mortality, Sexuality, and Humanity in Ferris Beach       Throughout the journey of life, each person experiences events, emotions, and consequences that cannot be explained. Situations do not always turn out for the best, and it is human nature to attempt to come to some type of understanding or answer as to why things are the way they are. In Ferris Beach, a bildingsroman, or the story of a girl's coming of age, Kate Burns grapples with questions of life and death as she seeks some sort of explanation for her problems....   [tags: McCorkle Ferris Beach Essays]

Free Essays
2276 words (6.5 pages)

Essay on Coming of Age in Ferris Beach

- Coming of Age in Ferris Beach Jill McCorkle's Ferris Beach is set in the 1970's, which is a transitional period in American history. The book is a buildings roman of Katie Burn's coming of age. Her maturing is complicated by the transition that is occurring in the time period. At the time, the Civil Rights movement had just ended, and there is a movement towards a more modern society, which included the integration of races and equality among men and women. In the book, the movement is characterized as a transition from the 'Old South' to the 'New South.' Different characters symbolize each time period....   [tags: McCorkle Ferris Beach Essays]

Free Essays
1648 words (4.7 pages)

Essay on Kate and Merle in Ferris Beach

- Kate and Merle in Ferris Beach Kate's perspective and understanding of deceptive appearances is heightened by her encounter and ensuing relationship with Merle Hucks. Kate had gone to school with Merle and been his neighbor for many years, but never knew him as anything more than a bully and a Hucks. However, Kate finally meets Merle one day at Mrs. Poole's house and learns that all her judgments and fabricated perceptions of him were based on his appearance and on rumors, and they were way off target....   [tags: McCorkle Ferris Beach Essays]

Free Essays
471 words (1.3 pages)

Essay on Jill McCorckle's Ferris Beach - Search for Permanency

- Ferris Beach: Search for Permanency Jill McCorkle's novel, Ferris Beach, fits perfectly into the popular genre of the bildungsroman. Ferris Beach tells the story of Kate Burns and her struggle to find her identity in a rapidly changing world. Kate looks for permanency in the swiftly changing environment of the New South. Kate's search for permanency forces her to deal with many of the other vital questions in her life. The struggle to deal with change, a central theme in most bildungsromans, certainly plays a major role in Ferris Beach....   [tags: McCorkle Ferris Beach Essays]

Free Essays
1431 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on Thresholds in Ferris Beach

- Thresholds in Ferris Beach    Jill McCorkle's Ferris Beach is an enchanting novel that depicts the intellectual and sociological development of Kate Burns. As Kate comes of age over the course of the story, she crosses numerous thresholds, each of which has a profound impact on her unique maturation. The thresholds mark the several stages of Kate's life and stimulate her understanding of the complex world around her. Kate learns that she lives in a world of random chances and opportunities, a world where there are no guarantees, but there are infinite possibilities....   [tags: McCorkle Ferris Beach Essays]

Powerful Essays
2137 words (6.1 pages)

Essay on Ferris Beach: Automobiles and Motorcycles as Symbols

- Ferris Beach:   Automobiles and Motorcycles as Symbols          During adolescence, one makes a transition from a child to a young adult. It is common for an adolescent to be confused and frustrated with new ideas regarding morals and beliefs. People, places, and experiences teach adolescents about life and how to handle different situations., and the environments of the individuals become instrumental for their development. In the novel Ferris Beach, Jill McCorkle provides an example of the learning process of an adolescent girl in the 1970's....   [tags: McCorkle Ferris Beach Essays]

Free Essays
1971 words (5.6 pages)

Essay on The Effects of Kate's Birthmark in Jill McCorkle's Ferris Beach

- The Effects of Kate's Birthmark in Jill McCorkle's Ferris Beach "'It's a birthmark', my mother said over and over. 'Lots of people have birthmarks'"(p.44). In Jill McCorkle's Ferris Beach, Kate Burns has a birthmark. The presence of her birthmark causes Kate to be shy and self-conscious. It is her weak spot, affecting how she perceives both herself and others. Because of the focus Kate's birthmark draws to her face, she places great importance on appearance. Kate's stress on the way things look affects her relationships with everyone around her and especially the women in her life....   [tags: McCorkle Ferris Beach Essays]

Free Essays
2027 words (5.8 pages)

A Loss of Innocence Essay

- ... After Paul had given his mother five thousand pounds for her birthday the echoes in the house grew. His mother’s expression did not change when she saw she had been given money. At this point, Paul realized he would forever be in debt to his mother and her nonexistent love for him. With each race he won, the echoes only continued to grow. Paul had created his own downfall because he fed into the house’s haunting words. He was easily manipulated into believing that having money was the only way to be happy....   [tags: D.H. Lawrence's The Rocking Horse Winner]

Powerful Essays
1009 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Loss of Innocence

- In A Separate Peace, John Knowles carries the theme of the inevitable loss of innocence throughout the entire novel. Several characters in the novel sustain both positive and negative changes, resulting from the change of the peaceful summer sessions at Devon to the reality of World War II. While some characters embrace their development through their loss of innocence, others are at war with themselves trying to preserve that innocence. Knowles foreshadows the boys’ loss of innocence through the war, and their constant jumps from the tree....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Knowles]

Powerful Essays
1336 words (3.8 pages)

Loss of Innocence Essay

- Innocence is usually associated with youth and ignorance. The loss of one’s innocence is associated with the evils of the world. However, the term “innocence” can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Similarly, the loss of one’s innocence can be interpreted in more than one way, and, depending on the interpretation, it may happen numerous times. The loss of innocence is culture specific and involves something that society holds sacrosanct. It is also bounded by different religious beliefs....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1482 words (4.2 pages)