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The Meaning of Strength

  • Date Submitted: 05/21/2014 08:24 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 67.3 
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The Meaning of Strength
“Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right using of strength….” – Henry Ward Beecher.   This quote can be explained in different ways, but I believe it is saying that strength isn’t about how much weight you can carry, or how much muscle you have.   Strength is the power to overcome something in live, no matter how hard it is.   This quote relates to two pieces of literature: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, where Tom Robinson is faced by a racial society, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, where Katie Nolan shows her inner strength throughout the book.  
      The first book relating to the quote is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.   Robinson and his struggle against the racial society (antagonist) on that time period relates to the quote, “Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right using of strength.”   Robinson was accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, because of his color.   This is the external conflict of the story.   Knowing he was minority, he still testified saying he did not rape her, his humility proving his innocence.   I consider him to be strong because he had the courage to testify, knowing he would still be charged for rape.
    In the second book, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, Nolan also goes through a conflict, though internal.   In the book, Nolan lives a hard life- she lives on pennies and nickels with her two children and drunken husband, and later on in the book, has to take care of three children on her own.   Although she is not physically strong, she went through a hard life without losing her sanity. Intellectually, she was very strong.   She went through many hardships in life.   Her life was already hard because of her poverty and drunken husband, when he died she had to work even more to get her kids into school, she had a baby, which meant even more money and effort.   To be able to go through all that, and still stay mentally stable is absolutely amazing....


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