A purpose in life, a goal that leads individuals forwards in life, something “The Golden Age” tends to shine a light on numerous times. Written by the author Joan London, The Golden Age, is a novel published in 2014 about children and their story about recovering from an infectious disease known as Polio. It’s focused upon a convalescent home in Perth also called, “The Golden Age”, in which Frank Gold, Elsa Briggs, and various other children affected by the disease are held. The Golden Age has a tendency to highlight and reveal multiple things within its pages, from individuals being affected by their past, the feeling of not fitting like that of an outsider, and even the importance held within having a purpose to direct their life. From the prompt’s quote. “He could overcome any hardship because he had a vocation.” -Aimed at Frank Gold. A quote that London wrote within her book which is a line describing Frank Gold, a line that shows the importance of a purpose is for him. The quote shows how much power and strength it gives him, as said: “He could overcome any hardship” Representing how important a purpose is with enduring the hardships one faces to follow that very purpose.
In various chapters of The Golden Age a “Purpose in life.” or also known as a “Vocation” meaning “A strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation.” is a stated before a repeatedly appearing trend. This trend TGA tends to reveal in its reasoning for why it’s such a needed factor in life, for example as a sense of encouragement, or motivation to continue. This can be easily seen within Ida Gold, Frank’s mother who like her son as well held a vocation for being a pianist. Like what London had written in connection to Frank and his vocation, the mere importance of it is to Frank remains the same in how needed it is for Ida. A former upcoming professional pianist, her vocation in which she frequently relates the qualities to be similar to the core emotions and strengths she holds, for example, the persistence and ingenuity she has.
These two quotes London has for Ida although relating to her natural giftedness of the piano also relates to Ida’s vocation, and purpose in life. Through London’s writing, it showcases how her purpose in life, her vocation of playing the Piano intertwines with herself as an individual, on an emotional level, and her struggle to survive. But The Golden Age also shows how one’s purpose in life, their vocation can also make up themselves as an individual, Ida’s vocation of the piano representing herself, her pride, her emotions, and what made herself ‘her’.
This same belief in how The Golden Age reveals the need to find purpose in life with Sister Penny as well, that purpose in life and vocation she deems as her job as a Nurse. For Sister Penny like that of Ida and Frank and London’s writing regarding the Golden Age, it’s her vocation that gives her an individual purpose. As shown many times within the book, for Sister Penny working within the Golden Age is what she deems as the purpose of her life, as said before what the Golden Age tends to shine a light on frequently within the book. Although this isn’t as clearly shown as Frank or Ida’s vocations, in which one can easily distinguish and realise how much importance lies within the vocation they hold and the purpose of life they have it can still be related to Sister Penny and how her purpose of working as a Nurse distinguishes her as a character itself within the Golden Age.
In short, there remains truth within the Golden Age revealing the importance and need to find a purpose in life, as shown in the book it’s that very vocation that gives these characters hope and humanises them. Frequently shown within London’s writing within The Golden Age, one’s vocation and purpose in life are what makes Frank, Ida, and Sister Penny themselves as a character. And it’s that purpose which gives them the determination, encouragement and as a motivation.