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Adolescence marks the turning point of an individual's life, establishing the foundation of their development.

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Introduction

Adolescence marks the turning point of an individual's life, establishing the foundation of their development. It is during this phase that individuals leave behind the comfort of childhood and enter a reality beset with new perceptions of life. There are many stages of life, each enclosing its own distinct characteristics. As evident in the short story, Master of Disaster, written by Guy Vanderhagae, adolescence involves growth as an individual, both physically and emotionally. Although each phase has its own challenges and difficulties, adolescence proves to be the most difficult stage of life to overcome. Through examination of the situations in the story, it becomes apparent that adolescence involves experiencing emotional conflicts between friends, searching for one's identity amid a period of change and overcoming the negative influence of peer pressure. Adolescence is a stage of life, overwhelmed by emotional conflicts between friends. It is a period of time where emotional instincts are weighed more than good judgement, when making decisions that will alter the outcome of the future. As evident in the story, there exists a strong emotional bond between Bernie and Kurt, "Whatever I withheld from Hiller, whatever would have been unspeakable in the company of the others was confided to Kurt Meinecke." ...read more.

Middle

(Vanderhagae, Page 60) Kurt is influenced by others and finds it hard to distinguish his own individual identity. During adolescence, developing a positive self-image is important for growth. However this proves to be difficult when faced with physical, emotional and social changes. Kurt is forced to cope with these changes and prove to his peers that he is capable of being an athlete. Adolescence is a critical period of human development as it shapes the outcome of the future. However, during adolescence it is evident that individuals become susceptible to change. They are expected to mature as individuals and increase their position in society. Nevertheless, it is often difficult to adjust to change. Some approach change in a positive manner, while others see it as another obstacle to overcome. Bernie and his peers, perceive the changes in Kurt as detrimental to his future, "The changes in Kurt were growing more and more pronounced. It was bad enough that he did exactly what Hiller told him to do when Hiller was there, but how he went even further, obeying his instructions to the letter of the law even when Norman had no way of checking up on him." (Vanderhagae, Page 66) Rather than acting with a strong sense of self, he continues to subject himself to Norman's manipulations. ...read more.

Conclusion

Peer pressure is a negative aspect of adolescence. More often than not, it instils exclusion and negative influences among teenagers. Consequently, it illustrates that adolescence is the most difficult stage of life. Adolescence can be defined as the transition from childhood to adulthood. However this stage of life, usually entails hardship. As seen through the relations between the characters in the story, it is inevitable that adolescence is the predestined phase of life, containing many obstacles to be overcome. Individuals face many difficulties throughout this period in time, the most common being the emotional aspect. During this phase, adolescents experience a time of mixed emotions between friends. They tend to make decisions, not with their head, but instead with their heart. Furthermore, adolescence is the turning point, through which individuals shape their identity. However, this proves to be difficult during a period of change, mentally and physically. Finally, within this transition, young people have the tendency to find reassurance in their peers. Nevertheless, this can often lead to negative peer pressure. The need for acceptance exists, so they are inclined to be vulnerable to influence. In a fast paced society, where constant change is inevitable, the transition from child to adult proves to be the most difficult. It is at this point in life, that adolescents shape the outcome of the future. 7 ...read more.

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