Eleanor and Park

Rites of Passage in Eleanor and Park College

Rites of passage are a key element in adolescent literature. These are moments in which the character or characters do something where they essentially cross over the realm of adolescence to adulthood in some aspect. They are extremely common throughout the genre and hold a special place in the books for the characters, and the readers. There are several rites of passage in the novel Eleanor and Park. What makes these particular moments in the novel so special, and so important, is that they truly transform the character that goes through these rites of passage. An example of one of these moments is the fight between Parker and Steve. Many would say this is simply one moment that may cause a transformation in Parker, but is not important for the entire novel. The fact is that, this moment is crucial, not only for Parker, but for the entire novel. Without this defining moment in Park’s life many other rites of passage may have never took place and his relationship with Eleanor may have never flourished into what it became at the end of the novel. The fight between Park and Steve is the catalyst that fundamentally transforms Park as a character and a person, and gives a pathway for more rites of passage throughout the novel.


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