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Word Count: 1,167
Sumner Lock Elliots novel Careful he might hear you introduces to the reader part of the journey made by a six-year old boy named PS on his way to adulthood It illustrates also the notion that growing up is a multifaceted activity requiring not only a physical maturation but an emotional advancement as well He suggests that people other than children need to grow up as indeed they do The adults most responsible for moulding PS into an adult themselves all need to mature emotionally either to become self-confident stable people to proceed in life beyond the past or to separate completely their pasts from their present lives Without doing so these people are incapable of guiding productively the growth of another person and actually hinder his development Impediment of PSs development begins early as a result of Lila Baines imposition of her own beliefs and character traits His adoption of her ceaseless desire for social prudence frequently results in PSs profound unhappiness Because of Lilas unwillingness to speak her mind Lila has crippled PSs ability to do so Though she rages internally her fears of losing PS to Vanessa Lilas only comment to the husband willing to comfort her and the boy who relies upon her for guidance is a happy and practical Crumpets for tea This has been noticed and adopted by PS rendering him partly incapable of true self-expression or effective confrontation After his first terrible and lonely night spent in Vanessas Point Piper house afraid and uncomfortable PS responds to her enquiry about his comfort replying that Yes he had slept well Later that same weekend PS politely reassures Ettie that Oh yes he did like his stay with her though he was internally wishing it would all end now Lila leaves PS vulnerable to confusion and unhappiness as a result of the protective lies and euphemisms she uses in regards to some of lifes inevitable unpleasantness When death or any
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