Rites of Passage

At some point in time, all individuals learn certain traits and go through some rites of passage to help them cope or survive their personal experiences. In The Scarlet Ibis, the narrator and his brother, Doodle has to learn to be perseverant, willing, and hopeful to achieve their goals of teaching Doodle to walk and to do various other things no one expected him to be able to do. One rite of passage for Doodle was learning how to walk. This is where those traits come in.

At first, Doodle was simplistic because everyone else had always said he’d never walk. But he did want to learn, and so the trait of being willing to learn came into play. Next, the narrator and Doodle had to persevere and Just keep going and going and going at it. Finally, they did it. Doodle could walk. They showed this to the family, and it was a miracle! They danced and they laughed and they cried, praying thanks to the Lord. This was Doodle’s rite of passage, and those were the traits he and the narrator had to learn to achieve it.

Another story of learning traits and going through rites of passage is The Bass, The River, and Sheila Manta. In this story, the narrator falls for what he believes to be the epitome of sophistication, the quintessence of beauty, and the embodiment of grace, better known as his neighbor, seventeen-year-old Sheila Manta. His rite of passage is asking her out on a date to a concert. One trait he believes he must learn is that of surreptitiously hiding things from her that he thought might displease her.

For example, they were rowing to the concert, when she declared she disliked fishing because she thought it was dumb. At that time, he had to quickly decide whether to row to the shore close enough to drop his fishing equipment off, or to quietly dump it all in the lake. While it was a difficult decision, he later found he had fallen out of love with her and that it was Just an infatuation. We all must learn the important difference between love, and infatuation.

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