All the seven stories discussed a common theme related to coming of age and the various decisions and circumstances included in it. Bradbury's “Summer Ritual” describes how the common activities that a specific character do during the self titled time of the year gradually changed as time went by. Diaz's “The Dreamer” is a short story about the author's mother and how her life inspired him as he became an adult. Vowell's “Shooting Dad” describes the superficial differences of the author and his father while growing up and how she eventually realized that they were actually quite similar. Manning's “Arm Wrestling with my Father” also talks about the writer's relationship with his father as a son, wherein he experienced the gradual changes in both their physical and emotional connection as time went by. In the interview with Betty Kennedy, she talked about her ancestors and how her various experiences in life inspired her as she grew up. Marquez's “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: A Tale for Children” tells the story of how a couple found a man who was believed to be an angel who was able to help their family gain money and take care of their child before flying away. Hemingway's “Hills Like White Elephants” implies the conversation of two lovers who have different views regarding their situation as they both argue their points regarding aborting their baby. Like all the stories above, a decision needs to be made on the conversing lovers of “Hills Like White Elephants”, which represents some of the common issues people face while growing up. Through the common theme of coming of age, the seven narratives depict the significance of being a child and the critical transition to adulthood where realizations and realities would inevitably be faced.
All of the stories above tells their specific narratives in a span of years. This concept is critical on the implied series of growth that each major characters have to undergo. In “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: A Tale for Children”, the so-called angel has to grow together with the child of the couple before flying away. “Summer Ritual”, “The Dreamer”, “Shooting Dad”, “Arm Wrestling with my Father”, and the interview with Betty Kennedy all imply the process of growing up and how specific realizations were made as time went by. Hemingway's “Hills Like White Elephants” depicts a classic situation which most people face while growing up. The various decisions the characters has encounter mark the coming of age. As a child, people do not have to worry about a lot of things. The presence of responsibilities in all actions one should do marks the starts of adulthood. This idea also set a reflective mood for all the circumstances in the stories that each authors relayed. It should make people think about their priorities and the development they go through because of their different experiences.
Coming of age is an inevitable process and each individuals would have to undergo unique experiences related to this. The seven stories depict how each characters underwent such activity. Although one's unique process would surely be different, the growth represented in the narratives presents specific realities that everyone has to face. One such reality is the presence of responsibilities as implied in important decisions that each characters have to make. The process of growing up is something that everyone have to face, along with all the unique realizations that each people would learn from it.