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A Modern Generation - Who are They - Essay Example

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The early twenty first century is marked by social and economic changes, new values believed and practiced by new generation of people. The novel "The Coldest Winter Ever" appeals so much to young adults and college undergraduates depicting new values and changes typical for the new epoch…
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A Modern Generation - Who are They
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A Modern Generation - Who are They

The novel unveils that the decline of traditional culture has encouraged a narcissistic individualism which places the self at the centre of our concerns. Increasing cultural diversity has led to a general relativism, not just in matters of taste or morals but even in matters of fact. This novel so popular because it no longer expect there to be one single authoritative truth; instead there is what works for you and what works for me. The main character of the novel, Winter Santiago, is a prototype of a modern girl struggling for independence and personal identity. She describes: "Every teenage girl wants to cut loose and get close to the fire, but I was like a pot of boiling milk with the lid on" (Sister Souljah, 2000, p. 5). Success for Winter Santiago means fight in whatever direction. To the attainment of any end worth living for, a symmetrical sacrifice of her nature is compulsory upon her. But adult life persuades her to change her mind, and the novel records the changes of her wild nature caused by the death of her mother and imprisonment of her father.
Typical for modern youth, the self of Winter and self-identity of her family is constructed in relation to the other, i.e. significant outsider, who thereby defines the self. Though the author attempts to incorporate the totality of being and hence the other. She describes: "Everybody understood that our family had the neighborhood locked down, it wasn't worth the trouble" (Sister Souljah, 2000, p. 6). Racial difference is irreducible, and it reveals the ambivalence and hybrid nature of modernity in every character: Ricky Santiaga, Porsche, Mercedes and Lexus, Midnight and Lauren. This novel can be seen as a kind of awakening of the main character, Winter, faced with harsh realities of life. These developments have put into question traditional assumptions about the unity and supposed homogeneity of a person. On the other hand, Winter Santiago becomes a symbol of imagination continually struggling and contrasted with crude reality. Her changing views and self-identity help to represents the eternal warfare between virtue and sin, good and evil. This book appeals so much to young adults, because it creates the eternal inconsistency between the aspirations and the occupations of a human being and his dreams. Most characters of the novel (including Mercedes and Lexus) have approved loosing hopes not on the ground that they made people go on crazy movements, but because they were idealistically poor. The contrast between rich and poor, morality and guilt is on the one hand idealism, but on the other hand realities of modern culture.
Construction of the novel divided into different frames appeals to readers and their perception of the book. The plot is based on polar opposites who often aspired to realize the ideal of reality: poor vs rich people. This novel unveils how a life can treat a person, Ricky Santiaga and Winter Santiaga, when they make the wrong steps. In their doctrine, human beings have an instinct or a drive toward what is real which is impeded by the barriers of nature and custom. This novel appeals to young adults and graduate students through its simplicity. Colloquialisms and slang words appeal to emotions of readers reflecting modern culture and language. The psychological impact of sin is heated by morals and traditions existing in modern society and preached by members of our society. The physiological value is ... Read More
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