Coraghessen Boyle, is certainly a story about coming of age, which revolves around lessons learned the extremest, harshest and toughest ways. The story is specific and universal at the same time. The characters are upper-middle-class young people who realize their natural selves through events which happened due to their careless behaviour and distraction of their ideals.
People are different and their reactions to life's events are different as well. There are two types of people: people who get life's experience from somebody else's mistakes, learning from those mistakes, and people who learn from their own experience, making their own mistakes. The last ones are stupid enough not to accept the life experience of others. To come to the realization they need something really bad, which is out of the ordinary, to happen to them. How different people come of age depends not only on age, but also on certain circumstances, such as having a family or being an orphan or previous life experience. Due to those factors different events might be significant for coming of age. In this short story the main characters are upper-middle class people, but they behave unlike upper-middle class people trying to imitate something unusual, which is not accepted by their social status group. "We were all dangerous characters then. We worn torn-up leather jackets, slouched around with toothpicks in our mouths, sniffed glue and ether and what somebody claimed was cocaine. We read Andre Gide and strike to elaborate poses to show that we didn't give a shit about anything."(Boyle 35). This is a kind of a rebelling attempt, which youth always undertakes. It is a kind of a protest against social programming, which is always imposed by the older middle-upper class generations. But in this story the main characters go too far, so lessons they had to receive had to be extremely hard and tough to make them come of age.