Essay, Research Paper: Maturity Levels In Characters

Literature: Charles Dickens

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Maturity levels increase and decrease in characters in works of literature and
also throughout one’s real life. It’s hard for the maturity level of the
person to stay the same. Ron Jones’ The Acorn People, The Glass Menagerie by
Tennessee Williams, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and The Loved One by
Evelyn Waugh clearly show the degree of maturity in characters in a work of
literature. Ron Jones in The Acorn People shows a low maturity level when first
arriving at the summer camp, but later his maturity level increased into a
higher level. Laura Wingfield’s character in The Glass Menagerie was extremely
shy throughout most of the play. By the end of the play, Laura was able to hold
a conversation with her old crush, Jim O’Connor. Sydney Carton of A Tale of
Two Cities showed a rise is his maturity level when he took the place of Charles
Darnay in the prison cell so that Lucie (Sydney’s true love) would be able to
be with her husband. Aimee Thanatogenos of The Loved One…. A person can be
described as “mature” when he or she has grown physically and mentally, and
has demonstrated the ability to be responsible for his/her actions. Whether
it’s an increase or decrease of maturity level, a change in it always shows a
change in character and attitude. Ron Jones’ maturity level rocketed after he
became a camp counselor at Camp Wiggin and he also had a major attitude change
along with that. Ron had placed himself in the camp counselor position merely
for a good-paying job. In college he was an athlete, and playing with kids all
day, swimming, and taking long hikes had also drawn him to the job. Little did
he know this session of camp, was for the handicapped kids. Ron, along with the
other counselors, were not trained for these kinds of tasks that they had to
deal with, with the disabled kids and by the end of the first afternoon- Ron
wanted out. His attitude was negative towards the situation he was put in and he
felt that he would not be able to get close with these kids. The next day was
better for him and throughout the next few days he slowly got to know and love
the kids. Ron came to realize that this camp was “a place for children and
their expectations and fantasies for life”(46), no matter if they were
handicapped or not. Ron Jones’ maturity level grew and grew each day as he
worked with these kids. By the end of that session of camp he had a complete
attitude change and his degree of maturity had increased a great deal. That
change for Ron Jones was a change only for the good, just as Laura Wingfield’s
was. The character of Laura Wingfield definitely showed an obvious increase of
maturity level in the play, The Glass Menagerie. Laura was an extremely shy
girl, it was a kind of sickness she had. Her mother sent her to Rubicam’s
Business College in hopes that Laura would be able to hold a job and not have to
depend on a husband. The class terrified her to the point of making her
physically ill so Laura stopped going to the class. She did not have the
maturity level of an adult and was not able to handle a simple situation such as
that one. Another sign of a low maturity level was Laura’s collection of
“glass menagerie”. A girl in her late 20’s owning a collection of glass
menagerie is quite particular, and not very common, but Laura had one! Laura
found out that there was to be a gentleman caller one night and she became
extremely nervous, but when she then found out this gentleman caller was Jim
O’Connor and old high-school crush she couldn’t handle it. She could barely
even open the door for Jim and Tom when they were trying to enter the house.
While Tom, Jim, and Amanda ate dinner together, Laura laid on the couch because
seeing her old crush made her feel ill. Soon, after dinner, Jim joined Laura for
a little conversation and which in the beginning she was incredibly quiet but
then loosened up to him. She began talking and soon enough they kissed! Laura
engaging in a conversation with her old crush showed a significant increase in
her maturity level. She did not faint during it or become physically sick, and
she even had some fun with Jim. Laura’s maturity level went from minimal to
almost maximal in one night and that is a great change.
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