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Inner Demons and Endless Tunnels: Ellen Hopkins' Impulse Essay

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The feeling of walking down a seemingly endless tunnel of shadows is overwhelming for a vast amount of people. The tunnel is as dark as the blackest part of night, and those individuals cannot see a shining light that represents a hopeful end to their troubles. Some experience an inability to recover from hardship or stress in their lives, while others may have a lack of self-confidence or sense of purpose. These are the people who have the hardest time seeing that light at the end of the tunnel and might do just about anything to find a way out. Nearly every individual going through a hormonal change can understand the raging war that is taking place between the characters and their inner demons in Ellen Hopkins’s novel, Impulse.
An inner demon can be defined as any internal burden that creates a conflict in one’s life. That being said, there are many demons that frequently visit the minds of the three main characters of Impulse: Conner, Tony, and Vanessa. Each are encountering teenage-related difficulties, and all of them would enjoy finding a way out of the figurative tunnel described earlier. In the article titled “Teen Depression More Common Than Many Think,” the author explains, “problems for some youngsters start before their teen years, when they experience extreme anxiety over social situations… but once puberty kicks in, the anxiety often segues into depression” (Roth), showing that it is even more difficult for a child to escape from their hardships once they reach their teenage years. Ellen Hopkins expresses what the teens in her novel are going through and what kind of thoughts they may be having by stating:
Wish you could turn off the questions, turn off the voices, turn off all sound. Yearn to close out ...


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Roth, Mark. "Teen Depression More Common Than Many Think." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 18 Dec. 2013: A.1. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 21 Apr. 2014. .
Styer, Denise M. "An Understanding of Self-Injury and Suicide." Prevention Researcher Integrated Research Services, Inc., Vol. 13, Supplement. Dec. 2006: 10-12. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. .



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