More about teens in Casual Vacancy

16 Apr

In J.K. Rowling’s Casual Vacancy (2012), there are five major adolescent characters. There is Andrew who is physically abused by his father and unprotected by his mother’s denial of the brutality. His best friend, Fats, leads him astray by his seemingly sophisticated cynicism and intellectualized underestimation of the pitfalls of real life, which he pursues in the name of authenticity. Fats grew up without challenged by peers and parents. His peers were too impressed and intimidated by his biting tongue; His overprotective mother blocked his emotionally ill father’s attempts to set limits. Gaia is left out by her social worker mother’s devotion to rescuing others and efforts to hook a husband who doesn’t want to be hooked. Her cry to her mother,” What about me?,” said it all. Her beauty is both and asset and liability with peers, especially boys. Sukhvinder’s lack of beauty is a definite hindrance, especially with Fats, who turns his virulent wit relentlessly toward her. His verbal abuse and the coldness of her parents, her mother in particular, were instrumental in her self-injurious cutting.

The most central teen is Krystal, who is trying to find ways to grow up under the influence of her drug- addicted , promiscuous, and abysmally inadequate mother. In spite of her valiant attempts to save herself and her little brother and connect, however marginally, with others, she fails and commits suicide after her brother drowns. He dies after wandering off while she was trying to make a baby with Fats so that she might receive community financial support to make a home for herself, her baby, and her brother.

What came of the deaths of Krystal and her brother were turning points for the other teenagers. Gaia’s mother finally paid attention to her. Fats found out the real life could be cruel and was able to use his father’s parenting.   Anthony found hope for the future .Sukhvinder , who had dived into the water to try to save the little boy, gained status with her mother and peers because of her courage and attempts to follow through with tribute to Krystal’s strengths. 

Too bad it had to happen that way.

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