Jack's Climb To Adulthood

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“Jack’s Climb to Adulthood” One of my favorite childhood stories is the English fairytale “Jack and the Beanstalk,” written by Joseph Jacobs. In the story Jack is the only son to a poor widow who lives off the milk from their cow. When the cow stops producing milk the widow sends Jack to sell her so that they may use the gold to open up shop. When Jack returns home with only a handful of beans, the widow is furious and throws them out the window with rage. The beans grow into a tall stalk overnight which reaches far into the sky. Jack climbs the beanstalk and comes to a large house inhabited by an ogre and his wife. Jack manages to grab some of the ogre’s gold and return home with the help of the ogre’s wife. Jack then makes another visit to the ogre’s house this time escaping with a hen that lays golden eggs. On his third visit, Jack escapes with a singing harp, but as he climbs down the stalk, the harp calls out for her master who begins climbing down after Jack. Jack reaches his house just in time to chop down the beanstalk with an axe, causing the death of the ogre. The growth of Jack from a naïve boy into a young man is illustrated through his journey and his desire for money. In the beginning of the story Jack is portrayed as a very young boy who lives with his widowed mother. The widow’s cow, Milky-white, stopped giving milk one morning and so the family had to find a new source of income. The widow was very worried about having to find food and money to live off of, but Jack said: “Cheer up, mother, I’ll go and get work somewhere” (156). The mother replied back, “We’ve tried that before, and nobody would take you” (156). This shows how Jack is treated as a little boy at this time in the story. Jack can’t find work possibly because he is too young or too small to provide a service for anyone. Another important thing to notice in the

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