• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"Growing up" - Joyce Cary.

Extracts from this document...


"Growing up" - Joyce Cary "Growing up" is a short story written by the author Joyce Cary. The story is very simple in outline. A man comes home from work and he plays with his daughters, who attack him. In the struggle, their pet bitch bites him. The girls tend to his wound, but in the end he goes out to his club seeking some male company. Beneath this simple narrative, lots of other things happen. Like several other authors, Joyce Cary chose a title which suggests one of the themes of the story - of growing up. This appears to refer mostly to the two sisters, Kate and Jenny. Later we see that it may also apply in a way to their father, Robert, who has been able to play with his daughters for years, but now sees a time when he won't be as attached to them as he was before. The author makes this idea quite clearly in the last sentence of the story "...no he thought, not quite a game - not for half a second, she's growing up - and so am I". Another theme in the story might be nature - the story looks at nature in human, animal and other terms. ...read more.


When the girls attack him, Robert has no means to defend himself. Possibly, this might be the symbolism of how he's not able to control his daughters by force of personality. One thing which we cannot tell is if Robert is realistic or not. On one hand, we learn that he has "lost most of his illusions" and knows that children are "honest". But he also wants to be in his daughters' world. However, when he looks for some comfort he does not turn to his wife, but to male society - even though he sees it as boring. If the father doesn't seem to know his own daughters and the mother never actually seems to be there for them when needed, are they both good parents? The role reversal of parent and child at the end, with Jenny in a superior position, she is alarmed by the wound whereas Kate still laughs when she sees it. The girls in the story appear sometimes as individuals, but also as a pair who act together. We read that they adore each other "...and one always comes to the other's help". However, as the story is concentrated on Robert's thoughts, this might also be about what Robert is thinking. ...read more.


Marriage appears to be permanent for men like Robert, so, the idea that he might leave home for good is not here presented as an option. Concluding, this story invites the reader to see it from different viewpoints. The way that Robert doesn't really seem to know his daughters very well, and that he's proud of how his garden grows wildly (symbolising the children growing wild) seems to me that Robert has a lack of real personality. He wants to be different from the other parents, but on the other hand, he seems to love his daughters very much, even though he's not such a good parent. The children grew wild, because no one actually seemed to take care of them when needed - they both spent their time playing around in the garden, under no adult supervision. It seems as though Robert feels quite scared of the fact that his daughters are growing up and that they don't need him as much as they probably needed before. Possibly he might be realising that he could have spent more time with them when they were younger, but now, it's too late as they are growing up. To me, the main message of this story is how children grow up and the parents still don't seem to realize it quite well - and when they do, they get scared of losing them. Ana Mouchet de Castro 11 JG 1,328 words ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Developmental Psychology essays

  1. The idea for my coursework is the potential changing aspirations of teenage girls in ...

    When asked about relationships, they all saw themselves in one within 10 years time but appeared to more focused on a career and there wasn't even talk of a family or marriage. This changed however when I asked' where do you see yourself in 20 years time.'

  2. "Boys from the Blackstuff" "Yosser's Story"

    realise in this scene that Yosser has changed a lot over the years. As a youngster he was full of ambition but this seems to have disappeared miserably. He acts like a big man in the other scenes always repeating 'I'm Yosser Hughes'.

  1. To what extent are the traditional attitudes and values of Chinese society part of ...

    important; such as money and respect and success, adelines father strived to achieve all this by working as much as he did, this in turn made Adeline feel unloved by her father as he was never around, adelines father working so much also enabled him to know very little about

  2. What is it that you like about films?

    The music is very 'dreamy' and also very romantic. It creates a sensational atmosphere. The music is also pleasant, calm and delightful. It symbolises the mood; it also makes the audience feel cheerful. This displays that Ginger is a good character. However, even though Ginger sometimes does bad things e.g.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work