A Compilation of Personal Stories based on Coming of Age in America: a Multicultural Anthology
Coming of Age in America: a Multicultural Anthology is a book edited by the teacher of English Mary Frosch who worked with multicultural literature. The book consists of different stories written by authors from different ethnic groups. All the stories are connected by one theme – challenges and problems of young people as they come of age.
Twenty stories are divided into four sections: Fitting In, Family Matters, Affairs of the Heart and Crisis. Mary Frosch collected stories in which we can find everything - relationship between parents and children, bullying at school, sibling rivalry, first love, understanding and meaning of one’s life. Among others stories, I liked the most The Jacket of Gary Soto, Judgment Day of Arturo Islas and Marigolds of Eugenia Collier, because these stories are close to me and remind me of my adolescence.
The first story - The Jacket is written by Gary Soto. It is an autobiographical story about an everyday life of a sixth grader boy from big family. I liked the honest manner in which the author described the feelings of a young person. It is also relevant to my life as I had the same situation in my adolescence, that why I chose this story. I grew up in a big family and at that time my parents could not buy any expansive clothes for my sister and me. We often wore clothes that we hated, but we had to. I thought the same way as the boy from The Jacket: “I blame that jacket for those bad years. I blame my mother for her bad taste and her cheap ways. It was a sad time for the heart.”(Gary Soto. The Jacket p.6) From cultural point of view, our story are similar, as they describe different ways of looking at things that people of different cultures may have.
Judgment Day written by Arturo Islas, is the story that describes first losses in children’s life. I chose this story because it reminded me about the loss of my lovely great-grandmother. When the main character, Miguel, thought about the death of his nanny Maria he remembered his grandmother: “And Mama Chona was still very much a part of him”. (Arturo Islas Judgment Day p.118) The same as Miguel, I was close to my grandmother, and it was hard for me to understand that she has gone. The story of Miguel is different from mine, because in the Mexican culture death is not treated as something bad. They believe that it is only the beginning of a new life for those who have passed.
The last story I chose is the Marigolds written by Eugenia Collier. This is a story about relationship between brothers and sisters. The main character, Lizabeth feels often argues with her younger brother Joye: “Joey was three years younger than I and a boy, and therefore vastly inferior.”( Eugenia Collier Marigolds p.255) …