Por Alex Pinsky Streinger, 14 anos

We, teenagers, go through many changes during our middle and high school years. We start maturing and becoming a little more annoying to our parents and friends. But that’s just the circle of life, as we are trying to find out who we are, our limits, what we want to do.

As it frequently happens in real life, characters can change a lot during a story – and in many different ways. They can go from being someone completely different to the person seen at the beginning of the story to a character that can just undergo some minor changes throughout the narrative.

Anne Frank, for instance, in the autobiographical book ‘’The Diary of a Young Girl’’, has to hide from the Nazis after they invade Holland, where she lives with her family. As a result, she needs to move to a hiding place, where her family and other jews stay hidden for about two years. There, the life that she is used to changes in many ways. First of all, she can’t leave the building or go anywhere; and when the workers of the building below them are on duty, they can’t make any sounds to avoid being discovered.  In addition, with limited resources they often have to eat the same types of foods, like rotten potatoes. And maybe worst of all for a teenage girl, she does not have access to any of her friends.

Because of these drastic changes in her life, at the beginning of the story, Anne gets annoyed with all the restrictions and rules they have to follow to avoid getting caught. She gets very angry when her mother tells her not to do something, as well as when things do not go her way. In her diary, she goes as far as to declare that she would have preferred to be caught than to live in this bunker. But eventually, as the days unfold, she starts to get used to her new routine and learns how to live there and to be respectful like everybody else in the bunker. Anne helps out with things like cooking and cleaning, and learns how to smile, even in this horrible situation.

The real version of “The Diary of a Young Girl”

Another drastic change happens to the character Jem in the book ‘’To Kill a Mockingbird’’, by Harper Lee. Jem lives in a very small, poor and racist village. He is the son of Atticus, a smart lawyer who is defending a black man named Tom Robinson of false rape accusations. At the beginning of the novel, Jem, unlike his sister, Scout, does not want to get involved in his father’s work and problems; even though he himself is a very daring and brave kid. Jem usually does not speak about all that is happening with the Robinson´s trial at their home. But later in the novel, as he better understands the importance of what his father is doing, he starts reacting to people in the streets that insult his father and say bad things about his family. He keeps being that brave kid, but now he uses his courage for the right things.

Both Anne and Jem were intelligent and brave characters throughout the entire books. But because of the struggles they and their families go through, they evolve from being children and teenagers to becoming adults.

We, as teenagers, both in fiction and real life, go through good and bad times, but in the end we have to work hard for the good times to prevail.


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