Monday, September 1, 2008

On "Superhero" by Reese Kwon (3909 words) ****

Why is it that college so often means breaking with all the traditions and rules that one lived by while growing up? Perhaps, the answer is rather obvious. Students, out on their own for the first time, feel free finally to experiment, to be themselves, to take on a new systems of belief that don't simply fit into that which their parents have. And yet, there are complications in that. A student may become Cassandra, as the protagonist of this story becomes, but can she truly get away from her parents' authority? Or rather, does the new self continue to hide in one's old self? Perhaps, the true step in becoming an adult is learning how to be one's self even when with one's parents. Or perhaps it's learning to negotiate between selves. Or perhaps there never is any growing up, never is any becoming an adult. The fact is I'm nearing forty, and I still have difficulty negotiating that space between them and me. But while the world, I think, in some ways becomes no more easier to figure out as one ages, the anxiousness one feels at the start of that journey on one's own is perhaps at its most in the late teens and early twenties, in this college-going time. Kwon's story captures the hope and dispiritedness of those years very well. Read it here at Narrative. (Log-in required--but it's free!)

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