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Word Count: 673
In Randolph Stowes novel MERRY-GO-ROUND IN THE SEA the problems of adolescence and early adulthood are a primary focus Many factors contribute to the complexity of these problems the main issues being h effect war has on a growing boy and the loss of Ricks carefree attiude and innocence through the trauma he endured as a POW Not only does Stowe concentrate on phychological changes within the main characters but also the physical changes time influcts upon them Stowe effectively includes these issues as part of the novels cycle which is represented by the symbol the merry-go-round As a small child the war had a shattering effect on Rob though in his naivety it was no obvious to himself The general issues of growing up are hard enough for a child to cope with let alone the added concern of war The absence of Robs father made the war situation considerably harder for him to cope with Although he was never particularly close to him Rob respected his father and regarded him a a gentleman He did not think that there would be any more gentlemen after his fathers time Rob considered this lack of closeness between himself and his father to be the end of an era Another important issue caused by the war is Robs constant travel His roots were constantly being uprooted as his mother dragged him from farm to farm Due to th remoreness of these properties Robmissed out on one of the most vital aspects of childhoos constant friendship From this independance Rob learnt to be strong but he also failed to see the importance of peers and what they could contribute to a problem Ricks absence was also a crucial factor to the psychological development of Robs character Just as he began to stop focusing on Ricks absence Rick returned home all signs of the little independance Rob had developed disappeared and he fitted neatly into
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