The Friends

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade August 2001

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Do you ever wish that you could relive your childhood? Just go back and be a kid again, free of the responsibilities of the grown up world. I mean, right now you're probably thinking that your childhood went by all too quick, you were in a rush to be an adult and it just seemed to fly by. But what if you didn't become grown up by your own choice? What would happen if you were forced into being growing up before your time? Well in The Friends by Rosa Guy, both Phyllisia and her best friend Edith are forced by hard times, to grow up and fend for themselves in Harlem, New York. Hard times force young people to "grow up" very quickly. Adulthood can be forced upon people whether they like it or not.

In the novel, The Friends, there are many examples of how young people are forced by hard times to grow up quickly.

The first example is when Edith's father goes off to work and doesn't return. () This leaves Edith and Randy to take care of their family's welfare. Second is when Randy is shot by a police officer. () This means Edith is the only source of income for her family. Phyllisia also needed to grow up when she stood up to Calvin in the end of the story. () She stopped Calvin from sending her and Ruby back to the island. Hard times force young people to "grow up" very quickly is a theme that is important throughout the novel because it helps show how hard it was for Phyllisia and Edith.

In conclusion I felt that the book The Friends, and the theme of how hard times could force you to grow up very quickly, was understandably. What I mean by this is that the reader might be able to personally relate to this book. I think that Rosa Guy was trying to show that life isn't all easy or fun. This is a statement that I think could sum up the theme of The Friends, "No matter whether you're experiencing good times, bad times, or just ordinary times, if you're in trouble or not, no matter what mood you may be in, nothing, is as important, as a best friend."