Iniation Essay

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Initiation: The Coming of Age The topic that will be discussed is the coming of age. The short story that will be discussed is "Initiation" by Sylvia Plath. Sylvia Path's was born in Massachusetts and the setting in the short story, "Initiation", was set during the late 1900’s. Millicent undergoes several transitions from idealism to realism (the loss of innocence). Millicent also experiences a transformation from being ignorant to seeking knowledge (the journey of self-discovery). Lastly, Millicent changes her perspective to a more humane approach to life. She begins to think more for the betterment of others and less all about herself. In Sylvia Plath's "Initiation", the protagonist, Millicent had a coming of age when she comes to the realization that she does not need to join a club to "fit in." The protagonist, Millicent, transitions from idealism to realism in many situations throughout the story. When Millicent realizes being in a Sorority is not what it is perceived to be, she steps out of her mindset and defines what Sorority means to her. As she is speaking to Liane Morris, a fellow Sorority contestant, she finds that in the Sorority “they have a meeting once a week...each girl takes turns entertaining at her house...” and how it is not as she imagined (Plath,6). Millicent has another transition from idealism to realism when she realizes that joining the Sorority would allow her to approach Herb, a classmate she has feelings for. She thought "would he ask her (if he ever did just for herself, no strings attached?" (Plath,7) This thought Initiation: The Coming of Age brings the desire to be original and motivates her to break through the typical standards placed upon high school children. Millicent moves from idealism to realism that occurred in another situation when Millicent gained the realization that she didn’t want to be in a Sorority.

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