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Assignment Day

Look how many teen movies have a day at which kids of a certain age are assigned their future role as part of a big ceremony:

The Giver
Harry Potter
City of Ember
The Hunger Games
Divergent

1) What's up with this trope? Does it resonate with teens or is it just a convenient plot device?

2) I figured there would be a wikipedia page that lists books/films with this plot device but I couldn't find one. Of course, it is a difficult thing to search for. I'd love to see a full list.

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Coming of age rituals are significant in anthropological circles in general-our society is filled with them. It would seem to me like a logical theme to appear in literature aimed at people who are going through them.

++ I was going to say "coming of age" would be the search term to look for.

Perhaps Bildungsroman? - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bildungsroman

Also, many (if not all?) of those were books before they were movies. So it's a literary trope...

Every society has its rites of passage. Some are very formal, ritualized and public such as bar and bat mizvahs and the aborigine walkabout. Especially in industrialized/Western societies, many of them are informal and have varying degrees of "publicness". Examples of this would the the quinceterra (sp?)/sweet sixteen parties; first drink, getting the drivers license, first job, first bra, high school graduation (which is officially called "commencement" indicating the beginning of the graduate's adulthood).

These coming of age rituals have popped up in literature for centuries. The Greeks, Jane Austin and Stephen King all featured events like young men going to war for the first time, coming out parties, and proms.

Why I think it's so noticeable is that outside of religious ceremonies, we have few public coming of age rituals. Additionally, most Westerners associate the type of public rituals that you see in something like The Hunger Games with less developed societies.

And with that I finally get to use what I learned in my Cultural Anthropology class, lol.

I would suggest tvtropes but going there is a massive time-sink and I don't have that much time. So I'm not hot-linking it either. If you go there, on your own head be it.

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