Stuck In The Middle:Dealing With Adolescence

Stuck In The Middle

Adolescence often places a child in the difficult position of wanting to impress
their peers and simultaneously please their parents. Such quandary occurs in Gary Soto’s
“The Jacket” when the young boy is placed in the unenviable position of wearing a jacket
that is a displeasing shade of green. The jacket was given to him by his beloved mother.
This young man was hoping for a cool jacket , “something like the bikers wear: black
leather and silver studs, with enough belts to hold down a small town.”(3). But instead ,
the boy had received an ugly green jacket. He was then stuck in a position where he had to
either please his mother by wearing the monstrosity , or he could go to school without it
so he would not be thought of as a dork. He ended up wearing the jacket which to him it
was a mistake. It seemed to , in his mind , have caused him to receive bad test grades ,
beatings from the bully , ridicule from the other classmates and frustration over all. This
boy got so frustrated he had thrown it down , cursed it off and could never make up his
mind whether to wear it or not. Though this jacket acted as a burden which had tortured
his image to the point of insanity , he learned to accept it a just used it to protect him from
the cold.
As an adolescent in today’s day and age , we could easily preach about how these
are the “best years of our lives”. Many kids will pass on the ideas of how we all should
live these years to the fullest because this is “the ultimate four year party” . What kind of
party replaces the beer ( just a comparison ) with peer pressure? This whole “party” does
just that. Adolescence now is not just a race to please the peers , but to also please
mommy and daddy. Every teen has their “ ugly brother who breathed over [their]
shoulder” (6). For some it really is an ugly brother. For most teens it is compared to a
burden , a problem lurking on our shoulders. For instance , some of us have older friends
they want to please by going out and “ hanging” together. As soon as such a fun outing
comes up , along comes ugly Brian with his nagging voice. Who are you going out with ,
your mother asks. Then she keeps going until she gives all the times to should call her and
if late , grounding will be the necessary punishment. Many teens have such a problem. As
time goes on , kids will grow to understand their parents worries and will find ways to get
out from under them . All kids might think that they will get their long awaited “jacket”.
One day their parents will “ [understand] for sure the kind [you] wanted” (3). But parents
will never make appropriate social time for anyone. Their are many limits with parents and
we all have to live with them.

Category: English