Literary works are a form of aesthetic expression that delves deep into the dynamics of the society and beings. The literary artists explore the territories of quintessence that explicate the intertwining relationships between the domains and characters in the milieu and society. The novels in context are varied from one another in terms of content and portraiture. However, there is a commonality among the three literary works in terms of their portrayal of the shadow of the adult world. Although these artistic works explore different avenues of emotions and relationships, there echoing presence of the adult world in all of these three works creates a thread that links the works together as they portray their perspectives of the shadow of the world in context. The adult world has a conspicuous influence in shaping the perspective and outcomes of the characters of the literary works in context, and it serves the purpose of incorporating the knowledge about the vices of the mortal world among the characters as well as the avid readers.
White’s Charlotte's Web is one of the most astounding works of literature that gives a peek into the intricacies of relationships and how the adult world comes to influence the dynamics among beings. The story explicates the situation of the life of a small piglet named Wilbur. The author goes on to incorporate the presence and dark influence of the adult world in the work right from the very inception of the story. The author goes on to pen about this girl called Fern who has a baby pig as her new pet. However, this baby pig being feeble and taken to be of no use, Fern’s father intends to slaughter the pig at a very tender age. The story is about the ways in which this pig is saved from the vices and insensitivity of the adult world. The author goes on to start off the literary work by foretelling the avid readers regarding the intention of the adults in the story. Thus, one can very well comprehend the fact that the adult world is shown to be driven by vested interests and insensitivity toward life and existence of lower living species.
The very thematic content of the literary work echoes the idea that the adult world fails to see the value of life of the lower animals. It can be opined that with age, the innocence and sensitivity toward these factors get lost amidst the wish of profit and interests. Thus, the adults fail to see the value of the life of a baby pig, and consider it for killing as it is feeble. This is the way the adult world gets dehumanized through its loss of humanity and sensitivity. The story finds its inception with Fern enquiring, “Where's Papa going with that ax?” (White) In reply to this question, Fern’s mother lets her know, “One of the pigs is small and weak, and it will never amount to anything.” (White) Fern, the young girl, is shown to understand the emotions and sensitivity with her innocence that has not been corrupted by the vested interests and experiences of human life.
In stark contrast to the humanity and love of Fern, the sheer nonchalance with which her mother opines about the uselessness of the young pig testifies to the fact that the adult world has its own way of objectifying things and animals. The value system, ethics, and emotions are quite different in comparison to the innocence of the youth. Fern as a young girl endeavors to persuade her father not to kill the little piglet. But, her mother further opines, “Your father is right; the pig would probably die anyway.” This reiterates the objectivity and lack of sensitivity of the adult world to issues that they take to be trivial. However, these trivial issues can be of paramount importance to others or the beings that are involved. As Fern’s father opines that there is a difference between her and a pig, she blurts out, “I see no difference; this is the most terrible case of injustice I ever heard of.” (White) Thus, the literary work explicates and explores the animalistic inhumanity and shallowness of emotions of the adult world in stark contrast to the beings like spider and pig that show real emotions and intricacies of thought. The work brings to question the validity of age and experience of humans, if they miss out on the basic emotions of life and conscience.
Ursula LeGuin’s eminent literary work, The Earthsea Trilogy, is the example of quintessential aesthetic expression that goes on to impress the avid readers to the very core apart from providing a peek into the influence of the adult world in the course of the stories of the trilogy. One has to comprehend the fact that the very first book of the series goes on to exemplify the messages of Taoist philosophy that encompasses the story. Ged is found to embody the ways of Taoism at the end of the story. Ged is found in the course of the story to learn from his mistakes, and comprehends that the lessons from his Masters should not be utilized for fun. This echoes the theory of inactivity that opines that individuals should take action only when it is necessary. This is a lesson that Ged went on to learn from the adult world through his experiences of life. The author describes Ged’s initial character by saying, “He grew wild, a thriving weed, a tall, quick boy, loud and proud and full of temper.” (LeGuin) Previously, he was rather irritated on his master as he let it rain on his disciples instead of turning the storm away by his powers. The reader has to comprehend the fact that A Wizard of Earthsea, the very first book of the trilogy focuses on the young man’s gaining wisdom and experience and thus coming of age. In this process, the character goes on to attend the school for the wizards.
Likewise, The Tombs of Atuan, the second book of the trilogy, is regarding a young woman who is shown to come of age. Much of the action happens in the temple complex and also underground. The experiences of her life give her the essence of the adult life that awaits, and thus aids her process of maturity in the course of the story. However, the theme of coming of age is not really explicit in the story as it is covered with a garb of fantasy. The Farthest Shore is the third book of the trilogy. The story is also portraiture of coming of age as it goes on to focus on the very acceptance of demise as a part of human life. One can comprehend that the title of the book itself refers to end of life. It should be mentioned here that the philosophy of yin and yang goes on to explicate that life and death are related as one comes from the other.
The novel in context goes on to portray the character of a wizard who endeavors to eliminate demise. However, Arren and Ged do not try to stop him from doing so. The endeavor of the wizard to win over death is goes on to perturb the Balance. One has to understand that it is the fear of demise that leads this wizard to venture for a way to triumph over death, and his firm belief is that he has overcome death. The characters of Arren and Ged are required to master their fear of demise so as to realize the fact that it is the inevitable and natural part of the Equilibrium. The author opines that a man does not make his own destiny, and rather he accepts what is ascribed to him. This is needed to defeat Cob, and thus restore the balance of the world. The trilogy goes on to end with the Equilibrium being restored in the world. Thus, the three books are intertwined together by the thematic consistence of coming of age of the characters. The characters of the books are shown to imbibe the experiences of life and thus reach the stage of maturation and adulthood. Here, the adult world can be found to be the destiny of the characters who reach the stage after years.
Roald Dahl’s famous work of literature, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, goes on to delve deep into the vices and vested interests that work together to corrupt the innocence of the mind. In this story, the adult world is portrayed through the actions of the parents of the children who finally manage to get hold of the golden tickets to visit the Chocolate factory of Mr. Wonka. The shadow of the adult world echoes throughout the story in context. The author goes on to draw a distinction between the affluent and the poor endeavoring to point to the fact that richness corrupts people. This contrast also aids in the process of establishing the background for morality in the course of the story. In this literary work, Veruca’s father goes on to embody the negative aspects that related to affluence. He utilized his financial resources so as to ensure that Veruca gets a golden ticket to visit the factory. Although one does not find the character of Charlie not to speak ill of anyone else, he goes on to express his disagreement with the method used by Mr. Salt.
In stark contrast to the affluence and its characteristics, one can find the innocence that struggle entails. The character of Charlie is shown to be very poor. He hardly gets enough food to satiate his hunger, and he has to sleep on the floor with his parents. However, he goes on to handle his economic condition with utmost dignity. Charlie is never seen to yearn for riches, and he does not loathe for excess. In the course of the story in context, he finally gets rewarded with money that he could have never imagined even in his dreams. On the other hand, Veruca is found to get punished for her riches that get accompanied by the ineptitude of her rich parents. Moreover, the story further portrays how the characters get rewarded or punished as per her characteristics. Hence, the negativity that is embodied through the characters of Violet, Augustus, Veruca and Mike are eventually punished in the course of the story. The author pens, “Then out he comes! And now! By grace! / A miracle has taken place!” (Dahl) The Oompa-Loompas are found to sing this song after the bad children disappear. The story portrays how the vices and vested interests of the adult world cast the shadows in the lives and existence of the humans. The children who are supposed to be innocent are influenced by the characteristic traits of their parents or the world around that is essentially brimming with vices. Extreme poverty is used as a symbolic armor against the negative traits of the society and the adult world. Thus, Charlie Bucket remains immune from the negative things, and gets rewarded in the long run for his innocence and approach toward life.
Thus, the adult world goes on to exercise its influence in the lives of the youngsters. One very interesting commonality in all the three literary works is that the children are faced in juxtaposition to the perspective of the adult world. While the work by White and Dahl explore how the innocence of the children fare in the face of the surmounting influence of the adult characters, The Earthsea Trilogy focuses on the coming of age of the young characters through the experiences of their lives. Nonetheless, none of these young characters are free from the influence of the adult domain that looms over their actions and existence. The works explore the vices, worldview as well as the experience of the adult world. The negatives as well as the positives of the adult world are explored as they exercise their influence in the society and world.
Dahl, Roald. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. New York: Puffin Books, 1964. Print.
LeGuin, Ursula. A Wizard of Earthsea. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1968. Print.
White, E.B. Charlotte’s Web. London: Harper Collins, 1952. Print.