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26723604 - EXPLORING TRANSITION - The Simple Gift

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Saje Butler

on 15 July 2015

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Transcript of 26723604 - EXPLORING TRANSITION - The Simple Gift

Transitioning from one phase in your life to another inevitably involves overcoming a range of obstacles and difficulties. This is clearly evident through the persona Billy, a young, disaffected teenager whose journey is explored through the prose poetry of Steven Herrick’s The Simple Gift.
The Simple Gift

Character - Billy
Individuals experience transitions into new phases of life and social contexts.
Transitions may be challenging, confronting, exciting or transformative and may result in growth, change and a range of consequences for the individual and others.
EXPLORING TRANSITION - The Simple Gift
In his quest to escape from his unsatisfying life, he must overcome his ingrained distrust of authorities. However, in doing this, he is able to completely transform his way of thinking about the world. The challenging yet rewarding effect of making transitions into new perspectives through experience is similarly echoed in the film Thirteen (2003).
Character - Caitlin
Having a close link in the storyline to The Simple Gift with relating themes of dysfunctional family situations, this leads to phases of transitions and personal experience that enables a character to grow and change because of the effect that transition plays on their life.

Tracy’s (main character) mother in the movie, Melanie, grew up without a mother in her teenage years, is divorced, and is a recovering alcoholic. She lets her recovering cocaine-addict ex-boyfriend, Brady, back in her life, to which Tracy reacts with utter dismay and a torrent of criticism - which causes for a personal decision to partake in transition that opens new opportunites, friendships and lifestyle aspects for Tracey.
The process of growing up is often fraught with difficulties and complex issues. This is true for Billy, the main voice in the poetry of Herrick. Through the medium of poetry, we gain snapshots of the difficulties of Billy’s life growing up. In particular the aggressive treatment he endured from his father. As Billy runs away from the home he reflects on the reasons he has for leaving - mainly being his fathers violent reaction to Billy's childhood sporting dream.

This transition in Billy's life lead for him to become sixteen and homeless, but as the poetic novel unfolds - Steven Herrick creates a worthwhile opportunity and positive to derive from this transition in Billy's life.
The Simple Gift

Caitlin experiences a lot of change after meeting billy. She is a rich seventeen year old school girl. Working at McDonald’s is her least favourite thing. She realises how materialistic she can be and even quite judgemental. Below are some examples of her transition to growing up:

On page 87 Caitlin asks Billy on a picnic, this is a very big step for her, never asking a boy out anywhere
She admits to being spoilt “I am spoilt/ spoilt to boredom.” (pg.88). this is a realisation of her material goods.
Caitlin can be herself with Billy; she has someone to live up to, no expectations like those from her parents. Pg.106 “I don’t feel … simply feeling.”
“And I stay in the shadows/ watching/” (pg. 115) Here the shadows symbolizes ignorance and fear, Caitlin’s fear.
Made decision to tell parents about Billy (pg.190). This shows that she is ready to grow up and take responsibility
Related Material - Thirteen (film - 2003)
Teenagers experience transition by growing their identity, becoming their own person - dealing with the new found freedoms. This can happen as result of experience through both negative and postive aspects - evident in both texts Thirteen and The Simple Gift.
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