In life there lacks a physical transition point that distinctly separates childhood and adulthood. Though, the characterization of the thinking perspective of both life stages makes a considerable difference in the recount and imagination of life episodes. In the story "The Ocean at the end of the Lane" written by Neil Gaiman explores the creativity and creative mindset of children told by an adult in memory of his past. An unidentified narrator does the narration recounts on the difficulties he faced in childhood by sparking memories tucked away in his brain. In the whole text, Gaiman compares and contrast the childhood and adulthood level of thinking on memorized phenomena and creativity. In his writing, the narrator presents imaginations and reality to blend the points of view of a child and an adult. This paper will discuss the narrator's recounts of magical and mysterious illusions that are prominent in a child's mind in contrast to the adulthood perspective of reality.
Gaiman presents the main character in his piecework without making any formal identification; his name does not appear throughout the narration. The narrator's mind transverses from his memory to his present adulthood demonstrating the recounted description long after the occurrences, thus it bases the arguments from memory. A majority of the story's recounts shows the existence of illusion, mystery, and exaggerations in a child's way of thinking that resides different meaning from an adult's perspective of reality. Gaiman uses a symbolic representation of the narrator's parents as a symbolic representation of adult perspective and the reality of situations. The narrator's memory plays a pivotal role in showing juxtaposes of a child's point of view to distinguish illusion perception of the truth from reality.
The Ocean at the end of the Lane is a mythological representation of fantasy and reality of childhood imagination. The narrator travels back in time and lets his mind focus on the memories of his childhood when in fact he drives to his childhood neighborhood for seven years when he was between five and twelve years old. The narration blends reality and memory to draw the truth in a child's and an adult's perspective. As he recollects his childhood memory, he travels to the Hempstock household where most of this childhood memories disinter. He remembers how Lettie Hempstock - the neighbor's daughter - referred to the small pond behind their backyard as the ocean. This example shows the different perspective children and adults visualize reality and truth. In his childhood, the narrator and Lettie were comfortable when they referred to the small pond as an ocean to signify their exaggerated perception and fascination probably triggered by the size or depth of the pond. The narration of the majority of the novel presents a man's recollection of past events trapped the seven-year-old boy's mindset.
Gaiman uses the fairytale to accomplish the sense of reality, moral, and ideologies that modes the reputations assimilated by an individual differentiating adults' way of following paths while children explore the same paths. Therefore, it's possible to imagine that the story "The Ocean at the end of the Lane" is a child's narration told in an adult's version especially on the recount where the narrator narrates of how the father broke the bathroom door and submerged him in the frozen water holding him down. The multiple strange occurrences in the story leave a reader wondering on the truth and illusion components of the story. The narration of the numerous encounters witnessed between his father and Ursula Monkton - the new nanny - signifies the adequate representation of a child's mind in contrast to the adult narrating the story from his memory. Initially, some of the little details that the narrator is bringing in the text did not make much sense to his as a child but, the level of emphasizes he gives them in the novel shows the contrast of his adult mind. For instance, when he narrates how close his father stood to her. It worried him that his father did not realize how monstrous she was and how different she looked; he also concludes that his father was kind to her. Another, similar recollection of similar events was when the father held his sister in one hand, and his other free hand casually rested on the bottom of Ursula's midi skirt. In a nutshell, relating to the conspiracy transpiring between the father and Ursula shows two perspectives of the narrator's mindset. Though he indirectly pinpoints to the affair going on between the father and the housekeeper, he admits that he would have reacted differently to the scenario that he felt nothing at all during the events.
Gaiman successfully distinguishes the capacity to handle and interpret life situations that essential distinct difference in a child's and adult's mind. The main character in the story recounts on his chief rival in the whole ordeal shows the childhood fears instilled by his nanny with insults and threats. The level of exaggeration in the detailed accounts the narrator uses to illustrate the ruthlessness of Ursula places the reader's interest to question whether some of the recounts were true or illusionary. For instance, the narrator describes of how the nanny made his life miserable and turned his father against him. The level of the threats represented by the protagonist that included locking him away in the attic may show exaggeration in the adult perspective on her role in the family. Despite the fact that, the protagonists emphasize on the nanny being a monster, Gaiman applies his authorial expertise to show the adult's perception assimilating his childhood events to more excellent details. In reality, the seven-year-old-boy version of the narration may not give very weighty characterizations of the housekeeper's character, but since the story narrated from memory, the impact of some of the refined details that are making sense now in adulthood could not have borne so much weight. The outright hatred the protagonist feels towards his nanny may not have been so intense during his childhood as it portrays in adulthood. The description shows that now the narrator understands the role his nanny was playing to disintegrate his family. Although, the narrator is basing his story on the memory of past events, his feelings and perceptions as an adult are driving the mood of the story. He shows biases when he points out his impressions of his father getting manipulated by the nanny and easily provoked into anger and quick to punish him. Incidentally, a child's perception would not evoke such line of thought revealing that the protagonist was letting his adulthood perception savvy his exaggerations on the situations proceeding and aspirations of his past life. Contrasting the true tale told by an adult or a child separating fantasy from reality.
Gaiman helps to invite a child's perception in the exploration of the adult world to show the cruelty and depth of real secrets. The author entices the reader's mind with childhood thoughts and the helplessness of being under the control of adults. The narrator recounts of his relationship and interactions with the Hempstock family at the end of the lane. The recount of the seven yearlong encounters of the child's mind and the latter adult narrator's mind gives a significant contrast of how he related with them then and his perceived memory of the encounter. The prestigious characterization and recount of his interactions with the then eleven-year-old Lettie Hempstock, her mother and her grandmother unleashing the canning ability to use the child's feelings in the context of an adult. The introduction of interesting authorial intrusion when the narrator hypothesizes the possibilities of the story told might be by children wrapped in adult bodies. The unbound interrelationship between child thinking and adult thoughts shows the different perspectives the same person can visualize an aspect affecting their life or past.
The narrator shows hatred of his past when he contrasts it with the present prompting him to say that he did not miss his childhood but was envious of the pleasure growing up deprived of him because of the enjoy brought about by petty things. He envies the fictions revolving his "child" mind and the ignorance of hurt and abidance of joy. In this text, Gaiman shows the distinct difference between the child and adult mind. The mythical aspects of the child thinking give substantial meaning to the little things that stop to matter anymore as an adult. At some instance, the author states that grown-ups aren't grown-ups on the inside shows the similarity of the line of thinking of adults and children. He was insinuating that despite the physical and conscious difference between adults and children, the inner being is always the same. All human people perceive like they have developed different perspectives after maturity, but the narrator signifies that the little things that mattered when one was small, they still do this was a metaphoric representation of the innocence of the brain. According to the narrator, the only thing that changes the way of thinking between children and adults was the level of consciousness.
In the effort to show how the adult brain differs from child's mind, Gaiman exemplifies the ability for adults to follow the same path for hundreds of times without creeping or finding spaces in between the fences. The child is described to explore the way. In this scenario, the author and the narrator engage the reader with factual shreds of evidence that children's explorative nature shows the nature of their mind. They are likely to think of different versions on the same story showing their fantasy and magical imaginations of the facts while adults will think about the same thing in the same lines distinguishing facts and fictions to signify truth and reality. Therefore, the interesting differences and similarities on the innocence and complexity of the human adult and childhood perception give the accurate picture of reality.
Gaiman, Neil. "The Ocean of the end of the Lane" new York: Harpercoll Publishers, 1993.
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