Coming of age is a young person’s transition from childhood to adulthood. Throughout the novel we are able to see the many life changing events that bring Esther’s character through this realization period in her life. Esther is faced with many moments where she has to stop and choose option A or option B whatever option she decides to pick her result will either help her or make matters worse. This is where we are able to see how Esther’s character develops throughout the novel. Whether it be drinking the water out of her finger bowl or choosing who to befriend, Betsy or Daisy, Esther is faced with many challenging decisions that will make or break her in the long run.
Throughout the novel we see how Esther’s wardrobe changes with every event that occurs in her life. It is clear that the clothes Esther buys for her trip to New ...view middle of the document...
Another moment in Esther’s life that exemplifies coming of age is when she decides who to befriend in her trip to New York. In the novel Betsy is portrayed as this good girl whereas Doreen is more of the bad girl that makes the obvious bad choices. Surprisingly in the beginning Esther clings on to Doreen more. It’s surprising because of the type of person Esther was. Esther was more of the type to stay home Saturday night to study other then stay out and party. At a point we are able to see how Esther is torn between choosing Doreen or Betsey as a friend. Although in the beginning she ultimately chose Doreen she came to a point where she realized that the decisions Doreen were making were not corresponding with hers when she says, “After Doreen left, I wondered why I couldn't go the whole way doing what I should any more. This made me sad and tired. Then I wondered why I couldn't go the whole way doing what I shouldn't, the way Doreen did, and this made me even sadder and more tired.”(30)
In addition to having to choose who she should befriend Esther was determined to lose her virginity during her trip to New York. Throughout the novel Esther searches for someone to lose her virginity to not for love but to know she accomplished the deed in a sense. She went on a quest looking for the best man to sleep with. At first she thought it would be interesting to get seduced by Constantine. After they both fell asleep instead of having sex she saw that he wasn’t the best bet. The pressure for having sex was evident throughout Esther’s journey. It became such a pressure to get done that during her attempted rape by Marco she said “It’s happening, I thought its happening. If I just lie here and do nothing it will happen.” This shows how much she wanted to show Buddy that she could find someone other than him to have sex with. It also shows us how the pressures of having sex were as heavy as they are now for young adults.