Standing In Two States At The Same Time

You start off in life knowing absolutely nothing. You’re just an innocent child, going about as all children do. Playing, laughing, and not knowing what is ahead and what is ever going to be expected of you, or how you are going to be as a person when you get there. As you start to grow up though, you start to learn new things, and are faced with difficult, upsetting, dangerous, and life changing situations that change you as a person, and mark your steps to maturing to a nice, well rounded adult. Sometime in your life you must cross a threshold of realization into the real world. You will be faced with a challenge that will walk you across the line from childhood to adulthood, and it will be your choice which way you decide to deal with it. For a little you will have one foot on each side of the line trying to decide what the best thing to do is. Part of you will realize what is going on and the other half will want to ignore what you’re beginning to feel. Stories and movies almost all have a plot based on crossing the threshold to maturity. In The Lord of the Rings, Freaky Friday, “How Far She Went”, and “Araby”, the characters face challenges that help them to cross the threshold through responsibility, growing up a woman, and idealistic notions of love. Just thinking about it now, I’m sure you can think of what brought you or is bringing you across that state line.

Never in your younger years would you ever expect that the outcome of the future, of your future to be put into your hands. The hands of one who doesn’t even yet cook meals for oneself. In this situation you must cross over and accept the responsibility. You have to decide what the best thing you can do is and what you have to do to accomplish the task. In The Lord of the Rings Frodo Baggins is faced with the biggest responsibility of all. When Bilbo decides to leave the Shire, Frodo is given a ring and must take this powerful ring and travel the long dangerous journey to the destination where it can be destroyed. Frodo realizes that the power of the future is in his hands. In this case, this isn’t only his future; it’s also the future of the world. He realizes that Bilbo, and many others expect a high standard from him and he must fulfill the responsibility he has been given. He seems to not think twice, and runs as fast as he can out of the Shire to be one step closer to the end. Although he has some companions with him along the journey, and his fate with the task is only in the hands of Frodo himself. The long journey shown to us in the first movie still provides his realization of becoming an adult. He finally crosses the threshold from childhood to adulthood when he realizes that he has to go on his own to deliver the ring to its destination. He takes the responsibility and plans to fulfill it even if it means his death.

In a totally different sense, some also cross the threshold not only by responsibility but also through gaining a new respect for the difficulties of growing up – in these cases – a woman. In the movie Freaky Friday and the story “How Far She Went” the girls are growing up in a situation that they wish they could change. In Freaky Friday, the girl doesn’t like the fact that her mom is so “unfair” and also the girl wants to go to a band gig, rather than her moms wedding rehearsal. She tells her mom she doesn’t understand where she’s coming from and that her mom is very unfair. The mother is very hurt and they get into a fight at a Chinese restaurant where a Chinese proverb causes them to switch places. When the girl is in her moms shoes, she sees how difficult her life is, and how much she is committed to and loves her children, job, and family. She also sees how hard her mom’s fiancé is trying to be accepted into the family. For a little, she doesn’t know whether to understand and accept where her mom is coming from or to keep being the rebellious child she is. She finally crosses the threshold into the realization that she isn’t the star of the show, and she needs (and gets) a better respect for her mom. She is faced with the difficulties of growing up a woman in a situation where she isn’t always going to agree. In the story “How Far She Went”, the girl also comes to the same realizations! She is a rebellious young girl, living with her grandma because her mom passed away and her dad can’t handle her. She hates her situation, and just wants to go back home. She gets pulled off the back of a motorcycle by her Grandma, and the guy she was riding with takes a turn for the worst. He pulls out a gun and chases them, because the Grandma threatened to put him in jail because the girl was underage. The girl comes to realize that this situation, and the danger they are in, is 150% her fault, and she grows up in seconds. She helps by putting her head together with her grandma and escaping from the guys. Her grandma must drown the dog, because either the dog was going to die or the girl was going to die. The girl comes to realize that she is very well loved and everything that has been going on is in love and the best well-being of the girl. She also is faced with the difficulties of growing up a woman, but now she understands what choices have been made and why.

One last threshold some cross is the idealistic notions of love. Everyone develops a crush on someone when they’re little and they at one point think that they will marry this person even if there is a 10 year or more age gap. They play with and have fun with and make things for this one “love”. In “Araby”, the little boy falls in love for the girl next door. She wasn’t able to go to the bazaar with him, and so he promised to get something for her when he was down there. His father got home way too late, and so he didn’t get there til everything was closed. He realized at the bazaar, that there really was nothing to be excited for. He had to go home without a gift and face the girl of his dreams. He begins to cross the threshold to sexual awakening challenging his idealistic notions of love.

To conclude, there are many trials and tribulations of acquiring identity. As you saw in The Lord of the Rings, Freaky Friday, “How Far She Went”, and “Araby”, there are many ways to cross the threshold and a lot of times you do it without noticing, expecting, or wanting it. You might wobble, with one foot on each side of the threshold but eventually you will be thrown into a totally different world. You will become your own person through responsibility, growing up a woman, and idealistic notions of love.

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