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Something Wicked This Way Comes is told from the perspective of adolescents and celebrates youth as a magical period of time. Several adult characters in the novel are obsessed with regaining their youth, though this desire is utilized for evil ends by the novel's central antagonists, the carnival freaks. The novel explores the difference between a physical state of youth and a mental one, concluding that these can indeed by separated, and that the latter is more important. It also reminds us that, while youth has its appeal, there is also something to be said for the wisdom of age.

Questions About Youth

  1. How do we know that Miss Foley wants to regain her youth? Do we have any clue as to what drives her longing?
  2. Does Will and Jim's youthfulness help them against the carnival? Hurt them? How does their youth affect them as characters?
  3. Why does Charles want to be young again? Is he misguided in his desire?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Something Wicked This Way Comes argues that youth is fundamentally more desirable than adulthood.

Something Wicked This Way Comes argues that the wisdom of old age is fundamentally more desirable than youth.

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