Teen Pregnancy: An Issue in Paul Zindel’s Novels

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by – Sheela V and Dr. A. S. Mohamed Rafee, published in Vol.II, Issue.XXI, October 2016

Introduction to the Authors:

Sheela. V is a research scholar in English Literature at Bharathiyar University, Coimbtore. She is an assistant professor, department of English, Arunai Engineering College, Tamilnadu.

Dr. A. S. Mohamed Rafee is an associate professor and research guide, Mazharul Uloom College, Ambur, Tamilnadu.


Young Adult (YA) is a period of transition between the childhood and adult life. It is one of the dynamic stages of human life. It has been characterised as a period of physical, social and emotional changes. Adolescence is a part of every individual to face challenges in their life to struggle with families, communities etc. YA is the age between 18-22, where teens enter to regulate emotions in their thinking capacities, relationship skills and ability to regulate emotions. Teens has to rebel and it is a part of growing process My paper will investigate how teens handle emotions physical and sexual changes especially teenage pregnancy. Female adolescence are abused. Paul zindel an american playwright helps the teenagers to make them feel their situation and guide them in a right way. This paper explores the problem of teen pregnancy the clauses leading to it and the solutions suggested as understood from the novels of paul Zindel.



 Teenage pregnancy is a serious and controversial issue that affects our society as a whole. Teen pregnancy is a teen gets pregnant out of wedlock before getting into the age of 18. Teen pregnancy has serious consequences for the teen mother, the child and to society. There is also a serious health risk for the young teen mothers who have babies at the early age. Common medical problems among teen mothers include poor weight, anemia and sexually transmitted disease. The major factor of teen pregnancy tends to single parenthood and poverty. Children born to teen mothers faces higher risk related problems, insufficient health care, inadequate parenting, they often fall victim to abuse, neglected and also suffer economically like getting poor school performance. The factual problem in single mother especially teen mother household are more stereotyped problems. Teenager faces many problems when they face the society. Teenage pregnancy challenges the country for the socio and economic development so it may the threatening problem for the develpoed and developing countries.


 The main objective of the study is to investigate teenager problems. Teenagers would receive factual knowledge from competent knowledge individuals on the various methods of pregnancy prevention. They improve their self-esteem and learn to be assertive. They should know the seriousness of parenting and have to realise that premature parenthood has an impact on their future life. Teenagers will become acquainted with some legal issues surrounding teenage pregnancy.


 Teen pregnancy is a major problem that every teenager faces in their life. Parents identify violence, gangs, drugs and pressure from peers to engage in unhealthy behaviours as even greater risky behaviour in YA. When an adolescence discover that she is pregnant without wedlock it can be one of the most frightening moments of her life because she is totally unprepared. To add to the confusion she is feeling, she may come under strong censure because people in our society still have mixed feelings and reactions to women who become pregnant outside the marriage. The teenager who finds herself illegitimately pregnant is faced with limited alternatives. She may an get abortion, or she may carry to term and give it up for adaption or she may choose to have the baby and raise it herself. A premarital pregnancy not jeopardizes moral respectability, it lessens the changes for continuing in school and attaining a better life. Young people who become parent while in their teens are more likely than their classmate who postpone childbearing to have their educations cut short. The younger the birth, the greater the educational set back or total loss. Single teenage parent fazes a number of problem.


 Paul Zindel’s My Darling My Hamburgers treats the subject of abortion through the eyes of the friend. This novel, written in first person, recounts a best friend’s almost-disastrous experience with pre-marital sex and an illegal abortion. The novels end on a hopeless note for the young

Women who was the coerced into having sex with the boyfriend, and as a consequence had a abortion. Statements like “just let me die” and the characters’ talking about her past tense, and her inability to show her face at graduation because of shame magnify that hopelessness. While the writing is good and fits the bill for good YA fiction, the attitudes are dated. Zindel’s treatments of the boyfriends feeling and attitudes is much stronger than the treatments of the one –domination characters of the girl friend. Adult readers may sometimes consider such attitudes immature or find the characters are diminished by their adolescent characterization. To the target demography, however, these issues are authentic and compelling. Indeed, a character’s development from an adolescent perspective to a more adult view propels the action of many a young adult novel.


 The united states have highest rate of teen pregnancy of most industrialized nations.

  • Acceding to a 2006 reports, nearly 750.000 teens aged 15-19 become pregnant each year in the united states.
  • Atleast one study estimates that 90% of these pregnancies are unintended.
  • In 2006,435,436 infants were born to mother aged 15-19.4 along with obvious individual consequence for teen parents there are effect associated with the issues as well.

Teen pregnancy affects all demographics: certain population are at greater risk. children, teen mothers are more likely to drop out of high school. Teen father also has a higher high-school dropout rate. Teen pregnancy can bring physical consequences as well physiologically pregnant teens younger than 17 are at increased risk for poor mental weight gain and a higher maternal mortality rate.


The extraordinary progress that the nation has made in reducing teen pregnancy and child bearing in the past two decades has been driven by combination of less sex and more contraception. In 2013 National Survey Risk Behaviour survey indicates that among U.S high school students (age 12-19)

  • 47% ever had sexual intercourse
  • 6%had sexual intercourse for the first time before age 13 year
  • 15% had sexual intercourse with 4 or more times during their life
  • 34% had sexual intercourse with at least one person during 3 months.
  • 41% didn’t use any birth control pills to prevent pregnancy
  • 14% didn’t use any method to prevent pregnancy during sexual intercourse.
  • 22% drink alcohol or used drugs before sexual intercourse.


 The pregnancy rate for U.S Female Adolescence in 2013 was per 1000. The estimated number of pregnancies dropped to 6,369,000 (4,131,000 live birth, 1,152,000 included abortion and 1,087,000 fetal losses) the data in this report provides a comprehensive pictures and pregnancy outcomes.


 It is concluded that today’s teenager is stepping at the junction of the ecological history. Adolescence with teenage pregnancy, coping with stress, sexual abuse and peer pressure. In this current inclination teens extinct for lower socio-economic condition due to teenage pregnancy. Teen pregnancy is a global problem challenges a country’s growth and development. Personal and social counselling can help adolescence in solving the problems. Adolescence should be helped by teachers in removing their false belief about sex which put them at higher risk. The adolescence should be provided with proper sex education in a n effective manner both in home and school. Paul Zindel’s novel is an indispensable guide which provide with an experience that allows for self-understanding in order for society as an intact to realize itself.



  1. National center for health statistics: U.S census populations with bridge race categories (assessed july 2013)
  2. National vital statistics report; vol. 60 no 8 Hyattsville, MD : National center for Health statistics,2012
  3. The national Champaign to prevent and unplanned pregnancy prevention. (Washington DC; NCPTP,2012)
  4. Zindel Paul pardon me you re stepping on my eye ball, Hareper and Row publisher, Newyork
  5. Zindel Paul, My Darling My Hamburger, , Hareper and Row publisher, Newyork
  6. Zindel paul, I Never Loved Your Mind, , Hareper and Row publisher, Newyork
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