Coming Of Age In Henley's Invictus 'And The Outsider'

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The theme “coming of age” is evident in both the poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley and the novel “The Outsiders”. Coming of age is a ”transition from childhood to adulthood”. Many societies have different ceremonies to celebrate coming of age. Coming of age was an integral part in Invictus and The Outsiders. In Invictus, William Ernest Henley used many literary elements to convey coming of age. For example, the first sentence, “Out of the night that covers me, black as a pit from pole to pole”, foreshadows darkness. According to Wikipedia, darkness symbolizes “the presence of shadows, evil, or depression.” The average person is afraid of the dark, however Henley displays bravery and courage by facing this darkness. In the line “ I thank whatever gods may be…”, even demonstrates that he is comfortable enough in the dark to pray.…show more content…
Invictus means unconquerable or undefeated in Latin, indicating the theme of coming of age. When analyzing Henley’s poem, having background knowledge about the author’s obstacles is helpful to understand what the motivation was. For example, during Henley’s childhood, his family was living in poverty. Also, at the age of 26, Henley had his leg amputated due to tuberculosis. This event was the motivation for Henley to write Invictus on his hospital bed, showing how he has overcome his obstacles. Although Henley’s body was physically damaged, his mind and soul are

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