Coming of Age Theme
When we first meet him, Eragon is a simple farm boy, scratching out a living in a forgotten corner of his world. When we say good-bye to him at the end of the novel, he's transformed into a full-fledged Dragon Rider. The bulk of Eragon is about the journey he takes to make that transformation and assume the power and responsibility that he's inherited. At the end of the book, his newfound maturity can be seen as the climax, or turning point, of his story. No more turnips for this guy. He may have come into the story a boy, but he rides off on Saphira as a man.
Questions About Coming of Age
- Do you think Eragon could have reached the same level of maturity without Brom's teachings? Why or why not?
- Even though you aren't a Dragon Rider (we don't think), how do Eragon's challenges of growing up (making mistakes and learning from them) mirror your own experiences? How are they different?
- Why is it important for Eragon to become an independent person, as Ajihad wishes for him to be?
- Are you convinced that, by the book's end, Eragon has learned all he needs to know to be a Rider? Why or why not?
Chew on This
In the book, Eragon's maturity can be measured by his abilities as a fighter. The better a fighter he is, the more mature we know him to be.
It's not his strategy in battle that marks Eragon's maturity. It's his understanding of the wider world and his role in it.