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Compare and Contrast essay

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Self-Discovery in “Lust”; “Boys” and “Girl.”
Undoubtedly, the thread that sews these stories together is self-discovery. Albeit the subjects are different, and the situations dissimilar from each other, the issue of self-discovery and adulthood is what makes possible analyzing these stories with the same lenses.
At a first glance, “Girl” and “Boys” share similar stylistic qualities such as the prose and the fast-paced narrative, while “Lust” does not share the same kind of prose but offers the same sort of insight into the life of a young woman in a fast-paced story. Similarly, the stories share elements such as the image of Sunday schools to elicit a sense of religiosity that is lost while growing up. However, a capital point of growing up is understanding the limitations and possibilities of adulthood, a point that these stories share.
In “Boys”, the characters discover themselves on their journey through life and death. “One boy misses his brother horribly, misses the past, misses a time worth being nostalgic over, a time that never existed, back when they set their sister’s playhouse on fire …” (Moody 241). In “Boys” death is shown as the ultimate journey, and it is only with his brother’s death that the boy understand loneliness and being a sole individual.
“Lust” portrays a girl of an uncanny sexuality, who feels compelled to have sex, yet feels empty afterward. For this reason, although her self-discovery could be seen as something related to her apparent sexual freedom, it is something much more intimate, as it is closer to her soul, and the discovery of what actually makes her a woman.

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“… after he had taken off his shirt, and then we slid on the floor and he got up again to close the door and then came back to me, a body waiting on the floor.” (Minot 4). A body, the body. The image of the girl’s body as something different refers to how alien the girl felt with what was happening. Accordingly, her sexual voyage was intended to be an interior discovery gone awry.
Conversely, in “Girl”, the protagonist is compelled to live a “correct” life away from promiscuity. The girl’s mother forces her to behave as she considers that domestic life will lead her to live a better life afterward. The interesting thing here is that the mother is preoccupied with the idea of her daughter being a slut and tries to guard her against such fate. Consequently, when she uses the bread metaphor ” … always squeeze the bread to make sure it’s fresh; but what if the baker won’t let me feel the bread?; you mean to says that after all you are going to be the kind of woman who the baker won’t let near the bread?” (Kincaid 321), as a form to tell her to enjoy her sexuality in a concealed way, she is telling the girl to discover herself but never behave like a slut. That way, her self-discovery comes from her family and motherly advice.
To sum up, the three stories share similar stylistic qualities as well as a strong and potent prose. Although “Boys” can be confusing, it is clear that the author drew a compelling picture of family and brotherhood. The same occurs with “Girl”, where the mother shares womanly secrets with her daughter. “Lust” can be seen as in a different scenario, but it shares the same notion of self-discovery and entrance in adulthood by the sheer understanding of the body and its implications.
Works Cited
Kincaid, J. “Girl.” The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. 6th ed. New York: St. Martin’s, 2013. Print.
Minot, S. “Lust.” Lust & Other Stories. Boston: Houghton Mifflin/S. Lawrence, 1989. 3-17. Print.
Moody, R. “Boys.” Demonology: Stories. Boston: Little, Brown, 2002. 241. Print.

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