Young Adult Rebellion is Nothing New

Over 140 years ago, the budding author, Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island, Kidnapped, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), told his parents he was not going into the family business but instead was going to devote his life to writing. Then he told these pious Presbyterians that he was an atheist. The first declaration they could live with; the second they could not. Stevenson’s father came across the constitution of a club of which his son was a member. It began, “Disregard everything our parents have taught us.” Parents and son quarreled for a long time, leading Stevenson to write:
     What a damned curse I am to my parents! As my father said, “You have rendered my whole life a failure.” As my mother said, “This is the heaviest affliction that has ever befallen me.” O Lord, what a pleasant thing it is to have damned the happiness of (probably) the only two people who care a damn about you in the world.


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