EN3004 Adolescence In American Fiction And Film Essay

EN3004 Adolescence In American Fiction And Film Essay
Word Count : 3000
 Please write an essay of no more than 3,000 words in response to the following question.
 In your essay, please refer in detail to at least two primary texts (that is, any of the novels,
films and short stories we studied on the module).
 Please also make effective use of relevant critical material to support your analysis.
 If you would like feedback on your essay plan (no more than 2 pages in 12-point font),
 Make an appointment to discuss your essay with Daniel King, the module convenor, at anytime during the term by emailing him:


1. Roberta Seelinger states that ‘the establishment of an identity independent from one’s parentsand the exploration of sexuality’ are the ‘dominant discourses’ of coming of age texts (Disturbing the Universe: Power and Repression in Adolescent Literature, p. 122). Based on your analysis of texts on the module, how accurate is this assessment?

2. Patricia Meyer Spacks contends that the central concern of coming of age novels is ‘the
adolescent’s efforts alternately to resist the adult world and to find a place in it’ (The Adolescent Idea: Myths of Youth and the Adult Imagination, p. 15). Based on your reading of texts from the module, do you agree?
3. Geta Le Seur argues that texts about adolescents of colour ‘do not seem to celebrate life … One feels sadness and sorrow for the characters’ (Ten is the Age of Darkness: The Black
Bildungsroman, p. 3). To what extent do texts from the module validate Le Seur’s argument?

4. Barbara White asserts that ‘in novels of female adolescence conflict over gender identity is the major issue’ (Growing Up Female: Adolescent Girlhood in American Fiction, p. 20). How do texts from the module convey the importance of gender in the coming of age experience of female and/or male characters?
5. ‘[T]he social structure of adolescence means that adolescents can be criticised for dressing, speaking and behaving in ways that are “too childish” as well as being chastised for being “too adult”’ (Lydia Kokkola, Fictions of Adolescent Carnality: Sexy Sinners and Delinquent Deviants, p. 22). How and to what effect is this perception of adolescence depicted in coming of age texts?
6. Explain the significance and analyse the representation of one or two of the following in the depiction of adolescent experience:

Social Class
Race and/or ethnicity

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