A major theme in the book My Name is Asher Lev is maturation. This is evident since the book takes place from the time Asher is very young until he is an adult. The book includes all of the major events that occur in Asher's life.
Asher is four years old at the beginning of the book. However, he acted a lot older. He knew from this young age what he wanted to do with his life. This is something that many children feel when they are young, however they usually outgrow their childhood love. Asher however stuck with his aspirations since it was truly a gift. I was somewhat jealous of Asher when I first began reading the book. This is because he knew exactly what his purpose in life what. It was to be an artist. I find it a lot harder to make such life long decisions.
As Asher continued to mature, he changed. He began to isolate himself from others. Throughout the book he only converses with people who are older with him. In school he never had true friends. His friends were always adults. When Asher was full grown however, I think this finally began to change. This is because he seemed to have fallen in love with someone, however this was not something the book focused a lot on.
As Asher matured he also made a lot of decisions about the world. He decided when he was young that it was "not a pretty place." However, once Asher was on his own he made some discoveries. He found out that there were beautiful places in the world despite the problems that existed. He found beauty in people, at the beach with Jacob Kahn, and especially in the city Florence. Asher decided that "Florence is a gift, [as] Jacob Kahn had said." (p. 292).
The focus of Asher's maturation was on his painting. At a young age he was very talented. He continued to develop his skills throughout his entire life. Jacob Kahn worked with him for many years in order to shape him into a great artist. He learned to study the art of others through books and museums. When Asher ran out of inspirations for painting ideas in Brooklyn, he began to travel in order to gain new ideas so that he could continue to develop his painting. This led to his masterpieces. His development flowed in a very logical order.
Asher changed a lot during the book, and at the same time, remained the same person.