Arguably, the comparison that I realized among Mick and Miranda was a move from childhood into adolescence. Through out the stories, I realized that both characters were growing into adulthoods and were in a struggle of their identity. Coming of age is the comparison that I took from the two characters. The authors clearly establish points in the stories that are debatable with the comparison that is listed. Therefore, in analyzing the author's stories, the comparison that I have attained from the stories, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter and “The Grave,” will be discussed.
First, I would like to discuss Mick from the novel, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. In the novel, I am aware that McCullers portrays Mick as a child, thus detailing Mick's attire and her actions. McCullers states,
A gangling, tow headed youngster, a girl of about twelve, stood looking in the doorway. She was dressed in khaki shorts, a blue shirt, and tennis shoes so that at first glance she was like a very young boy. (18)
There is also recognizable immaturity when Mick takes her brothers for a ride in the wagon and leaves them in it as she climbs on top of a house and smokes a cigarette, writing on the walls of the house that is being constructed, and telling her older sister about her obsession of going to Hollywood and becoming a star. These are great points in the story that helps identify what type of girl Mick is before she becomes an adolescent.
This summer was different from any other time Mick could remember. Nothing much happened that she could describe to herself in thoughts or words but there was a feeling of change. (97)
At this point in the novel, I believe that McCullers is signifying a change in Mick's life. It is implied that Mick is maturing. There are many other things that are contributing factors to my belief. For example, entering vocational school and realizing the different cliques among her classmates, thus trying to figure out which one she belongs to. One particular thing that I have inferred about Mick as she has gotten older is that she is able to express her feelings more and understand some of her family's problems. Mick takes on a more responsible role, eventually giving up school to take on a job to help support her family.
Moreover, McCullers continues to portray Mick as an adolescent, thus detailing Mick's attire as she did in the beginning of the book when she was a child. For example, McCullers gives a description of Mick's attire for the party; “There was Etta's long blue crpe de chine evening dress and some white pumps and a rhinestone tiara for her hair” (McCullers, pg. 106). A dress was something that McCullers never mentions Mick wearing in her childhood days. Also, Mick engages in sexually activities which signifies coming of age.
In addition to Mick from the novel, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, I think that it acceptable to say that Miranda from the short story “The Grave” endured some of the same changes. Just as McCullers portrays Mick as a tomboy, Porter does the same thing with Miranda. Point in case, “The graves . . . when Miranda and her brother Paul, who often went together to hunt rabbits and doves . . .” (Porter, pg. 2). Another thing that signifies her tomboyish ways is the way she dresses. For example, “She was wearing her summer roughing outfit: dark blue overalls, a light blue shirt, a hired-man's straw hat, and thick brown sandals” (Porter, pg. 2) Just as McCullers has done in her novel, Porter has also mentioned great points in her short story that helps identify what type of girl Miranda was before she becomes an adolescent.
“Miranda was smitten at sight of the ring and wished to have it.” “Miranda glanced at it without covetousness. She had the gold ring on her thumb; it fitted perfectly.” “Now the ring, shining with the serene purity of fine gold on her rather grubby thumb, turned her feelings against her overalls and sockless feet, toes sticking through the thick brown leather straps.” ( 2)
This particular point in Porter's short story seems to signify a change in Miranda persona. It is revealed that Miranda is tired of her tomboyish ways and ready to experience life as a young lady. Just like Mick, Miranda seems to express herself more freely and begins to desire a luxurious lifestyle like any young adolescent female.
From the beginning and until the end of both stories, the characters clothing and personalities reflects that of a male. However, as time prolong, it is revealed that both, Mick and Miranda seem to be experiencing the rousing of a female's destiny. It is implied that both characters are growing tired of being a tomboy and desire for the accessories of femininity; pretty clothes and jewelry, perfume and in the end a sense of belonging.