Literary Coming of Age Comparison Essay by Scott Dorren

Literary Coming of Age
A comparison of James Joyce's "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man", Herman Hesse's "Siddhartha" and Zora Neale Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God."
# 30164 | 1,639 words | 3 sources | MLA | 1995 | US
Published on Aug 26, 2003 in Literature (American) , English (Comparison) , Literature (European (other))

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper deals with three coming of age novels: James Joyce's "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man", Herman Hesse's "Siddhartha" and Zora Neale Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God". It looks at how each novel has a main character who begins facing the challenge of realizing one's self up to a turning point where discovery of one's self plays an important role in the development of the character. It analyzes how although the main characters in each of these novels come from a different cultural background and social situation, they are all faced with family expectations and are taught to live within those expectations. It shows how it is the quest of finding one's self which causes each character had to break away and experience new situations to discover their niche in life.

From the Paper:

"In Zora Neale Hurston's novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie, the main character, goes through a similar process Stephen and Siddhartha went through, straying from the expected to find her own path in life. As an African-American woman living in the late 1930's, Janie was taught by her Grandmother (who ended up rearing her) to make a better life for herself than her parents and grandparents had done for themselves. Her grandmother's expectations of her marrying a financially well-off husband with suitable economic conditions played a dominant role in Janie's life for the next forty years. During this time, she married Logan Killicks (who owned a vast amount of land), but was not able to find happiness, so she ran off and married Joe Starks, who eventually became a well-off mayor with a lot of power. During these two marriages, Janie played the role of the passive wife and existed in a life void of true love."

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Literary Coming of Age (2003, August 26) Retrieved July 10, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Literary Coming of Age" 26 August 2003. Web. 10 July. 2020. <>