Insecurity In 'How To Tell Renata'

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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

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