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Discuss the central male characters journey to manhood in, Treasure Island, Charlie and the Chocolate factory and The lion the witch and the wardrobe.

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The life of a child is not an easy one, not to mention the rough lives of little boys. The pressure to grow up and become a man can be overwhelming, however the influence of male role models can help mold them in their search for personal identity. As seen in Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, Roald Dahl's Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, and C. S. Lewis' The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, the central boy figure finds his journey to manhood supplemented by many father-like figures, whether good or bad they still work towards the end cause of their eventual sense of identity in the world around them. Treasure Island is a book that tells the story of one boy, Jim Hawkins, and his search for buried treasure, yet in reality, it is his search for a clearer sense of self. He journeys far and wide in his pursuit of personal knowledge to an unknown island with unknown dangers, whereas his companions are in search of a glittery dream of immense proportions. For such a child, this trip is an adventure that gleams with the possibilities of excitement and the anticipation of boyhood fun in a hitherto unexplored region. This is the state of mind that Jim begins with, shifting ever so gradually to a struggle for survival that grips him with a fear he has never experienced before. What appears to be a hunt for riches turns into a desperate struggle to survive amidst a foe that is so near to them; each other. As the author of letters to his little boy, Robert Cotroneo remarks, "Treasure Island is a novel about a journey that is very different from what it first announces itself to be. It is about the end of innocence," (20). Jim Hawkins is the perfect example of a boy in transition. Innocence is lost for this boy hero, but an understanding of what it means to be a man is found within himself after everything he goes through. ...read more.


He gets Charlie excited as he tells him many wild and crazy stories about the chocolate factory and the life of Willy Wonka, creating the spark of excitement that would be his driving force for finding a winning ticket. He is pulling for Charlie the entire time, hoping and wishing that Charlie find a golden ticket and doing what he can to aid him in his pursuit. After secretively giving Charlie a silver ten-cent piece, Grandpa Joe goes on to explain, "It's my secret hoard...The others don't know I've got it. And now, you and I are going to have one more fling at finding that last ticket. How about it, eh? (Dahl 35). Grandpa Joe is sacrificing so much for Charlie that he is giving up what little money he has just so Charlie can achieve his dream, and what is more, Grandpa Joe desires to share in Charlie's adventure. Even though the chocolate bar that Charlie buys with the secret money is not a winner, it is the determination with which his grandfather displays that shows how much he cares and how far he will go for Charlie's benefit. It is this support that he shows the child that maintains Charlie's hopes of finding a ticket as well as furthering Charlie's focus and determination in living his dream, and finding a way to achieve it. Willy Wonka is the kind of character that defies most conventional wisdom. He is a strange man full of catchy quips; a person that appears to be oblivious to the events that are going on around him when he is actually fully aware. He is a deeply complex character that is not what he appears to be; a fully contemplative man with many ideas always calculating within his mind. He works towards his ultimate plan of finding a boy to take over his chocolate factory for him, and in doing so, he takes on Charlie as a son. ...read more.


Martha Sammons sees this as she says in reference to Edmund, But though he is perhaps a seemingly unworthy person, Aslan, who sees the worth of every individual, sacrifices himself in Edmund's place. Edmund's transformation after he realizes the evil nature of the Witch - whom he really believed was bad all along - is remarkable, (98-99). It is Aslan's ultimate sacrifice that truly changes the boy for the better. This aids him in finally seeing the difference between good and evil and eventually sacrificing himself to help defeat the white witch. It is Aslan though that sees the worth in Edmund and believes in him as a father would. This instills the values within Edmund that he needs to grow as a person and work towards his eventual identity as a king of Narnia. Yet, he owes everything to the presence of Aslan in his life and the sacrifice that he so willingly gives so that Edmund can achieve this destiny. Life can be a struggle to survive at times and it is easy to find one's self lost amidst an encompassing world full of chaos and corruption. No matter what age or experience, it is necessary that we work towards finding a clearer sense of identity despite all the problems and fuss. However, we cannot to this alone. Throughout the works of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and C. S. Lewis' The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, the central boy characters strive to find their identities, yet still require the father-like figures around them to guide them towards a brighter future as an adult of the world. We all need role models...yet we are never alone. There is always a father figure just around the corner. It is merely up to us to acknowledge His presence and look to Him for answers to our problems. Only then can we better find ourselves and our place in the world around us. ...read more.

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