Simply Accept The Changes Of Life And Move On: Joyce Cary's "Growing Up"

1033 words - 4 pages

Joyce Cary was a famous Irish novelist and he studied in Oxford. The short story Growing up is part of his collection ‘Spring Song and other Short Stories ’.The short story ‘Growing Up’ deals with the idea that how time brings about many changes and how one has to consequently move on and grow up by simply accepting the changes time had heralded and ushered along ; This idea is clearly seen all through the story and is reflected in the characters of Mr. Quick and his daughters.

This short story is about a father coming home from a business trip to his family. He expects joy and excitement at his homecoming from his daughters and is surprised by their indifference. He meets his daughters and they begin to behave in an alarmingly violent fashion. He panics but the 'game' ceases as abruptly as it had started. Later the girls' mother arrives with the welfare committee and they conduct themselves like well-educated young well behaved girls. Quick's reaction of surprise toward these brutal and sudden changes in his daughters only highlights the fact that he doesn't really know his children. The girls are shown as innocence gone vicious due to the neglect of their parents though the parents meant well by giving the some freedom. The girls eventually turn into boorish hooligans far from mature, dignified girls they pose to be at the tea party. Quick in the end is very disappointed and loses even the little allusions he yet had. He decides to go to the club and spend time with his old friend Wilkins even though Wilkins was a ‘crashing, dreary bore’.

Robert Quick was a busy working man who had returned home after a long business trip. He was longing to get a warm welcome from his beloved family members who he had not seen for a long while. However all he receives is shock and disappointment due to the complacency and languid attitude of his beloved daughters who he considered the apples of his eyes. Quick keeps on convincing himself that he is a good father and unlike other fathers he doesn’t demand love from his girls. However he is given tremendous disrespect by the girls. In the game which finally became almost fatal to him he saw the real monster which lurked beneath the innocent looking well clad girls. He saw the frustration in them which had found a vent to pour out. Quick feels a stuffiness in his own house and prefers being in the club rather than in his own home. In the end he is left totally shattered and his heart full of love is jammed and choked due to the bewilderment at the horrifying behavior of his petite girls.

Quick had two daughters Jenny and Kate. Jenny was the younger daughter who was a twelve year old on the verge of stepping into the teenage years. She had taken up reading ‘furiously’. Initially along with her sister she was least bit bothered that her father had returned from a long trip. However...

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