Essay on The Problem with Oliver Analysis

Words: 1011
Pages: 5

The Problem with Oliver

I recently heard a quotation from a pediatrician who was stating: “It is ten times more difficult being a child than an adult, due to the many possibilities and choices you ought to be making”. Now, my own thesis on this is, when you are a teenager, you can multiply the diffuculty by a factor of fifty. A lot of young people find it very strenous taking the last step towards adulthood and their own independence. Especially when you have parents that, unconsciously or not, do not allow you to do so.

The main theme in this short-story does also circle about the big leap from, in your adolescence, relying on your parents to, in your adulthood, become an independant individual with the right of
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Perhaps she is becoming aware of her repression. At heart, she knows, she must let go of her daughter. That also explains the setting at the beach. Fionualla is in contact with her instincts near the water. She is, based on her name, the swan who wants to fly away, and enjoy the freedom it implies. It is described in a very odd way:

“Has she been smoking? ‘What?’”, “And then I realised it was you, and I was me, in here, in the house.’”
At this very moment Sleeping Beauty awakes. It covers up the awkward feeling, when you have to let go. A lot of parents enter a difficult period when the time comes, to say goodbye. To raise, take care, and feel such strong emotions for someone in so many years. But Fionnuala and the tree approve Grainne’s decision:

“‘Anyway, I’m surprised you could see anything through that stupid tree.’“,“The dark, twisted branches of the hawthorn tree tap-tap against the side of the house, as if wanting to come in.”

The last quotation symbolizes the freedom waiting for her. The mother has done the tough, but necessary decision: Letting her offspring go, to find the balance between her instincts and her reason. Or in another way: Grainne has pushed her out on the quest, and the exploration for her identity.

This short-story touches as earlier described the struggle for adulthood, to find your identity while listening to yourself. Having a divided mind between what