Brittany, I agree with you about the fact that the characters stuck between adolescence and adulthood, especially in terms of Claude and George “Children” is a coming of age story, but isn’t truly about childhood at all; it consists of the state of ‘inbetween-ness’ that the narrator George and his friend Claude are experiencing.
Here are these two boys, who experience law breaking, violence, cruelty, and the need to prove oneself as a man (shocking topics for Ford, I know). Watching these two, we wonder where they will end up in life. Will they turn to the ways of their fathers, a violent, cruel man in one case or a deceitful adulterer in the other, or will they find some other avenue? Claude seems to be following his father; the fact that he sleeps with Lucy seems less like the move of an awkward young man and more like a son trying to assert dominance over his father by ‘taking’ his woman. We also see him try to assert dominance over Lucy and George, when he threatens to kill Lucy several times and mocks George in front of her. George seems on a slightly more even keel, but this is simply because we have a view into his mind. He is the one who converses in more depth with Lucy, about other people’s judgements, shame, and secrets, showing that he is more aptly able to express his feelings than Claude. In the end, the narrator looks back, and his final lines are that, “We were simply young,” which they were. They just weren’t “Children” anymore.
Original Comment: http://fpf.blog.sbc.edu/2010/10/06/shame/#comments