Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade November 2001

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GROWING THROUGHOUT THE REVIVALS The Irish Literary Revival (1890-1920), The Southern Revival (1920-1950), and the Harlem Renaissance (1920s) all have aspects contributing to the "coming of age" theme in the literary works written within each time frame. This "coming of age" novel reflects the growth process and addresses to the thematic issues between the protagonist and its society. Each revival attempts to arrive to dig out the folk, legend, and myth of the era and to incorporate its affect on the character. Although each revival includes a different history with different social races and orders, each novel and/or prose evidently represents the character's struggle and process in self- growth and discovery. This "coming of age" theme is explainable through a event in history or within that society that spurts a change in how the character feels towards that certain issue, therefore there is a change in self through self-experimentation and realization.

This growth in self-discovery may not always be a positive one, where the character is stronger and better at the end. The realization can also allow the character to return to traditional values and thought, due to the reality that the society in which they live in is false or unfit to suit their morals. Either way, the character grows and challenges the views in which each starts off thinking and believing in the beginning of the text.

A representational character of this "coming of age" theme is shown through the character of Christy Mahon in J.M. Synge's play, The Playboy of the Western World. In this 1907 play, Christy undergoes the individualistic growth and development within the social order of Mayo. His process of maturing is arduous and gradual consisting of repeated clashes between his needs, desires, views and judgments enforced by an unbending social order. Eventually...

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