Emma, Huck and Asher, children of the past, written in the present, preparing for adulthood in the future
Emma by Jane Austen Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain and My name is Asher lev by Chaim Potok each are novels with
the protagonist’s name in the title. These novels have semi-autobiographical elements as well as a message from the author to
their audience about impending societal change.
In each of the novels, the author’s invite the reader to grow and learn along
with the title character.
Emma, Asher Lev and Huckleberry Finn, are characters in three different novels who each take a journey of growth and
self-recognition that transforms them from child to adult. In Jane Austen's novel
, the protagonist Emma’s journey is
more than dress balls and picnics, but of respect for others, responsibility and breaking the bubble of juvenile narcissism. In
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
, the protagonist takes a journey, not just on the Mississippi River, but of
moral compass and learning to think for him-self.
In Chaim Potak's,
My Name is Asher Lev
, the protagonist takes a journey
from Brooklyn to Europe, as well as from child to adult. He learns to acknowledge responsibility for his actions as a gifted
artist growing up in a Hasidic Jewish community. The similar themes of these bildungsroman novels, which focus on the
cognitive and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adult, (Bildungsroman) have a different, rich, texture created by
its author. In each case, the author’s artistic style of writing and use of vernacular transports the reader into the historical
setting of the novel.
Each author’s use of a journey is an important literary element that involves how a characters physical journey supports and
highlights the development of the characters growth and growth. Emma, Asher and Huck each travel a road to maturity,
which is depicted in physical and metaphysical forms. Their journeys share insight into the each protagonist's internal conflict
towards self-awareness which is an important element in the process of a coming of age story.
In the opening sentence to the Austen novel Emma, Austen introduces the protagonist as a seemingly perfectly perfect
Where can a person grow from here? Yet, a close examination focuses on the word “seemed”. Maybe Austen is
telling the reader there is more to Emma then seemed. Emma believes she is living an almost perfect life, but she is a child
and has a lot to learn.
Early in the novel, Emma has a meddling nature, she believes she is a great matchmaker and thinks
others see things the same way she does. Emma continues her somewhat failed attempts at matchmaking. She thinks this is
her work. Emma must confront her flaws and recognize that she has not behaved as well as she should have. It is through
these realizations that Emma grows.
Emma's grows at the climax of the story, after the Box Hill incident. After Emma was cruel to Miss Bates, Mr. Knightley