‘People Always Clap for the Wrong Things.’ [Lesson 5]


This week, all of the books contained a protagonist in what we could call an identity crisis. We are introduced to Holden Caulfield, a young man hitting puberty and has big trouble getting through life. His narcissistic and critical view of the world is recognizable for a lot of us, because we all know that puberty is something we would not like to go through again.

Just as a lot of us, he does not know what he wants to do in life. In this book he provides us with a lot of information of how he sees the world but I think we should not trust everything he says. His view is blurred, his thoughts all over the place and he is trying to push the world away rather than dealing with it. He is trying to fit into multiple identities but has not committed himself  to one. He is looking for himself, what he wants in life and even  thinking about if life is worth it anyway. This is what gave me trouble reading this book and why I have to admit that I have not read it until the last page. I think I recognized too much of myself in my time of puberty, which gave me a hard time reading things that I did not want to go through again.

Both the other books were into identity crisis’s once again. The wasp factory told us about a girl who acts and thinks like a boy but is a girl. She acts out her frustration of puberty by acting it out on animals. Also, it turns out that she has killed 3 children in her family before she was even 10. So we can safely say that even before puberty hit she was pretty much cuckoo.  We find out that she is a girl but looks and feels like a boy because her father has pumped her with hormones to find out if she would turn into a boy. I guess it helped, but it wrecked her brain pretty toughly. This fits into the search for identity and trying on different ones during the period of moratorium again.  The story of Tracy Beaker also told us of her search for herself. She does not know how to commit to friendship and is basically kicking around her because she  does not understand the world she lives in. With her living in an orphanage, we are once again back to the well known topic of the absence of parents.

These books are suitable for teenagers in search for themselves. 16 years and older are probably the best age groups to offer these books to. They are looking for themselves as well. The moment that teenagers are past the shock of becoming a man or a woman physically, the mental shock comes in. who am I, what do I want and what is this life good for? These books answer some of these questions, some don’t. Fact is, the readers will recognize that they are not the only ones going through this phase. You are not alone in this world, and help is there if you want it and are brave enough to ask for it.


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