Insecurity In 'How To Tell Renata'

Improved Essays
Insecurity is like a parasite that clings onto teenagers, siphoning off the victim’s happiness, and allowing so many fears in replacement that it is difficult to select the worst among them. Eliminating these fears is even harder because many of them are connected with each other. However, there are three factors that are crucial for the survival of insecurity, which are bullying, the lack of the sense that someone will actually listen, and acceptance. These elements not only contribute as sources of insecurity, but also extinguish the single action that could solve all these teenage problems: speaking up. During adolescence, the greatest struggle is to speak up, when it may otherwise seem impossible. Bullying is a major world issue, and …show more content…
Nonetheless, this notion does not sprout spontaneously. It is the repercussion of multiple influences related to the feeling that nobody is listening, such as being ignored by people, having no friends, or the absence of any support when they do speak. Additionally, teens may feel that the people they need to talk to will respond negatively to their problems. For example, in the short story “How to Tell Renata” by Linda Holeman, the protagonist, Jacinda, wishes to tell her mother, Renata, about her troubles with Renata’s boyfriend, Jerry. However, this wish is stamped out by the thought that “[Jacinda’s worries are] going to kill [Renata]” and her mother will “hate [her], thinking [she’s] lying about the guy [her mother] loves” (Holeman 121). But contrary to what Jacinda expected, when her mother discovered the discomfort Jacinda was experiencing, she immediately ended her relationship with Jerry. Hence, the feeling of nobody listening can be partially true, but teens should realize that there is someone who will care and listen to what they have to say. It is up to the teenagers to open up to those people, and let their voices freely …show more content…
What teenagers perceive as ‘acceptance’ is really ‘fitting in’, and one rule of 'fitting in ' is to not to speak out, because doing so is considered acting like the black sheep, which is unacceptable. In fact, anything out of the ‘norm’ is unacceptable, particularly the way a teen behaves. An example is the play “2B WUT UR” where Cab explained how he is accepted and liked by others because he is “whatever [people] want [him to be],” and then pointed out that the one thing he had difficulty being was himself (Panych 31). These statements prove how acceptance can cause teens to look, act, and talk in the manner other people want them to, and not necessarily the way teens themselves want to. Furthermore, Cab’s friend, Deek, emphasizes Cab’s words by remarking how “[Cab] always [tells] people what they want to hear” (Panych 41). This quote directly relates to how acceptance stops teens from speaking up, because in order to fit in, they should not demonstrate different thoughts and opinions and instead agree with others. A personal experience related to this concept was when I was asked what my favourite genre of music was. Since I am a classical violinist, I replied with classical music. Then, the asker started to criticize my opinion, stating that classical music was "lame," "boring," and demanding "what 's so

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Helmer would have stayed with her family in the end of A Doll’s House, the story would be drastically different, as well as inconsistent with the message it sent. In the original storyline, the main character, Nora, came to the painful realization she did not love her husband. The realization came to her after their initial conflict over fraud was resolved. Although her husband, Torvald, had forgiven her of secretly making a deal with Krogstad, Nora was not willing to accept his forgiveness. When Torvald was initially in trouble, he verbally attacked his wife and then pretended nothing happened when the conflict dissolved.…

    • 969 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    There are long lasting effects deriving from insecurities such as the struggle with body image or trying to fit in with the “cool” crowd. These insecurities cause teens to live their lives with fear. Insecurities consume teenagers, and eventually controls their every move. Insecurities diminish the confidence in teens, which creates a major problem in society because it inhibits them from living their life to the fullest. Insecurities take hold of young adelescents and can even stay with them as they move into into adulthood.…

    • 869 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    False expectations can lead to disorders, failed relationships, and suicide. All of these tragic circumstances can happen just from the impractical story lines portrayed in the media. Parents must pressure media outlets to act more responsibly and consider the effects of the product they sell to teenagers. The unrealistic picture of romance can be as lethal as a fatal disease, because the mistaken views of relationships follow teens into the future and are passed along from generation to generation. Schools must step up and teach teens to understand the complexity of relationships and how reality must not recreate fiction.…

    • 1848 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Being a teenager is a stressful thing and being depressed makes that even worse and is just another added barrier. Teenagers are going through this all of the time. It is such a huge problem and makes everything harder. Teens should not have to deal with something so hard at such a young and vulnerable age. When a teen is depressed, for any reason, there is always something that causes this to happen, even though there are ways that it can be prevented, it is said to be one of the biggest issues in our society…

    • 1202 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Some would say bullying is a negative topic that can be hard to stop. Bullying can be defined as “Repeated aggressive behaviours that are intended to cause harm to a victim with relatively less power to defend themselves” (Faucher et al. 112). It presents itself as an issue from an early age(such as Kindergarten or Pre-Kindergarten) all the way up to bullying even in the workplace (such as hazing or even cyberbullying). It is a problem that only worsens as the ages climb and can become even suicidal if it gets too severe.…

    • 1047 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    A big part of Katie’s American Dream was to have a family whom she could rely on. This very purpose was fading away but not because of the lack of education but rather, with it. While Katie was afraid of her daughter being humiliated at the way she talked, Francie on the other hand was shunned upon because of the way she talks herself. Francie is taught of the Bible’s and Shakespeare’s writings yet when she expresses her love for the subject in her own language to her friends, she is ignored and officially deemed an outcast, “She yearned for playmates but did not know how to make friends with the other little girls. The other youngsters avoided her because she talked funny.…

    • 1246 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    This lack of communication drastically affects relationships in a negative way by not working through the problems and troubles from the relationship. The effect of Hester’s destroyed relationships are shown when she speaks to Chillingworth about Dimmesdale and asserts, “‘There is no good for him, --no good for me--, ---no good for thee! There is no good for little Pearl’” (118)! Hester is frightened to communicate in her broken relationship with Chillingworth because of not speaking to each other in years, concealing secrets, and arranging revenge. Hester avoiding communication with Pearl causes her to think that Pearl is unusual when she is eager to learn about their social status, scarlet letter and minister, Dimmesdale.…

    • 1550 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    One in particular, comes to mind as she is obviously unexposed to life issues. During a sex education presentation, she shied away and was shocked about certain details. She is eighteen years old and still has to ask her parents for permission to go out. As her parents continue to attempt to shield her from the rough aspects of life, my concern is that she isn’t receiving the opportunity to mature to an equal level as her peers. In the same way Danish mentioned, this may cause her not to fit in and eventually be labeled as an outcast.…

    • 1341 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Jamaica Kincaid's Girl

    • 924 Words
    • 4 Pages

    On the contrary, the daughter continuously ignores the teaching from her mother and prefers to behave like a slut. The author stresses on the consequences of a failure of a child to adhere to the parent’s advice. However, the mother is already worried that her daughter has chosen her path and that she does not have much to do to change her attitude. The mother is full of love, as she…

    • 924 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This is an example of the situational irony in the story as the reader and even characters in the story did not expect Cece to be rude to Juan as she likes him. Cece wishes “she could take back what she said to Juan on last week’s sophomore field trip, or that Juan never knew what she said”. However at the same time Cece did say the rude remarks to Juan “loud enough to be heard, on purpose to be heard” (Layden 1). Cece realizes she made a mistake when she got agitated with Juan and told him he doesn’t matter. She acted out of anger and desperation to stop the pain and now regrets acting out of anger and desperation rather than out of her true emotions for…

    • 775 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays

Related Topics