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The Story of Tom Brennan and Riding in Cars with Boys

            Venturing into new worlds can be challenging, but as those challenges are overcome, these experiences can be transformative. This notion can be seen in J.C Burke's chronological bildungsromanesque novel, The Story of Tom Brennan, and Penny Marshall's 2001 film, Riding in Cars with Boys. Burke, explores through Tom Brennan's move to a new town, as a consequence of his brothers actions, how new environments can be challenging. Similarly, Marshall, in her film shows the difficulties of moving to the world of adulthood, with an underage pregnancy. Furthermore, Both texts also show how these challenges can lead to a positive psychological transformation. Once Tom begins to comprehend the realization of his situation, he begins to embrace his new world, which takes transforming effects on him. Similarly, Beverly's transition begins to take positive effect when she realizes that her child is her most important responsibility.
             Individuals must prevent themselves from forming a dismissive attitude when exposed to a new world. After the confronting incarceration of his older brother, Daniel, Tom Brennan is forced to move to a new town. Tom immediately finds this transition Challenging. He says that "I didn't want to open my eyes" and "I kept my eyes closed". Burke shows through the use of the reoccurring metaphor of "blindness" that Tom is struggling with this challenging transition and his stagnant attitude prevents change. In addition, Burke uses hyperbolic high modality language through Tom's persona when he idealizes the past. Tom says, "We were a good family that everybody liked" this depicts Tom's stagnant melancholy attitude at these early stages of his challenging transition. additionally, Tom's inability to comprehend his challenging transition is seen through his disparaging attitude towards others around him. When the town priest pays a visit to meet Tom, Tom simply refers to the priest as "Crapp[ing] On".

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