Student number: 2018055489Name & surname: Zamatimande Kunene
Module code: ENGL1514Group: Z
Describe the experiences of child characters as they engage in relationship with youth, parents, and the larger societys expectations.
When children are born, they begin to be socialized by their parents before the youth and larger societys expectations come into the picture. This socialisation usually has a great impact on their self-concepts, self-perceptions and the decisions they take for themselves and the challenges they face as they grow.
This essay will explore the impact of childrens relationship with youth, parents and the larger societys expectations on the childhood experiences of Romeo and Juliet, Pip, and Tom Dacre. The main points to be discussed in this essay are; the rebellion of the youth, the effect that parental roles have on their children and the loss of innocence and freedom of children referring to Romeo and Juliet, Great Expectations and The Chimney Sweepers.
As children grow, they begin to make their own decisions and rebel against their family rules.
In Romeo and Juliet, the two children of the Montague and Capulet households fall deeply in love at first sight and decide to get married secretly without the blessing of their parents because of the feud between their families (Act 2 Scene 2 Lines 85-98).. Neither of them was able to confront their parents and tell them about their relationship as they did not have a close relationship and had trouble communicating. Romeo and Juliet got help of their elders, Nurse and the Friar, when they wanted to see each other and also when they wanted to get married secretly because their parents would never allow such (Act 2 Scene 6 Lines 1- 37). In brief, their relationship with the Friar and Nurse had a positive impact in their lives as they got a chance to be in love, not freely but they had hope that one day they would leave all this war and hatred behind and live happily ever after.
Parental roles have a positive and negative impact on childhood experiences. In Great Expectations, Joe has a positive impact on Pips childhood experiences. Joe is a father figure to Pip because he protects Pip every chance that he gets especially from his abusive wife, Mrs Joe. In the beginning of the book when Pip comes back from the marshes, Joe tips him off that Mrs Joe, has been looking for Pip and she is furious too (Chapter 2 pp. 10-11 ). Joes warm and humble personality drives Pip to be passionate about become a gentleman too. Pip also is taken to Miss Havishams house by Uncle Pumplechook without being asked whether he wants to or does not want to go to Miss Havisham (Chapter 8 pp. 74-78). However, his visit there had a positive impact in his life as he became passionate to be a gentleman because he falls in love with Estella who is of an upper class therefore he wants to meet her standards. In The Chimney Sweeper, Tom Darce is exposed to child labour by his father as he sold Tom into child labour to work as a chimney sweeper as young as he was (The Chimney Sweeper, Line 1-2). Tom experiences child labour and loss of innocence especially when his curly like hair is shaved off and he is always crying (The Chimney Sweeper, Line 5-8). This has a negative impact on him as he yearns for his freedom and innocence. Tom dreams of him and his peers reclaiming their childhood innocence by playing in the grass and reconnecting with nature which evidence of how he has never gone out to play and be jolly like any other normal child but instead he sweeps and sleeps in the chimney with the deadly dark smoke thus feeling confined. Tom and the other boys are always miserable and encamped because their employer is a slave master and has deathly image.
Larger societys expectations put pressure on children. Pip was somewhat pressured into becoming a gentleman because of how the society valued him, especially how he was treated during the Christmas dinner (Great Expectations, Chapter 4 pp. 33-36). The elders treated him as if he did not belong or he was not worthy to be part of them. Furthermore, the unpleasant things Estella had to say about him when they had to play together at Miss Havishams house showed how he was looked down upon because of his social status (Chapter 8 pp. 82-83). However, if the society had valued and respected him even though he was poor, he would not have went to London to better himself and become a business man but he would have continued to stay at the marshes and a became a blacksmith like Joe. Therefore, the larger societys expectations had a positive impact on him.
In conclusion, how children are treated and brought up has an impact, whether good or bad. The decisions that children take are sometimes influenced by their surroundings which is their parents and society. Their freedom and innocence is sometimes taken by societys expectations as they are expected to meet these expectations and the desires of their hearts and personal goals are neglected.