Critical Lens Essay
Helen Keller once said “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through the experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved. In other words what this quotation means is what individuals go through in life makes them what they are. Individuals have to go through good and bad to learn love and strength. Two examples that support the validity of this quotation are Night by Elie Wiesel and The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.
In Night by Elie Wiesel, the protagonist, Eliezer, is taken to Birkenau during World War Two with his father and is separated from the rest of his family. When seeing such horrific conditions in the concentration camp, Eliezer starts to lose faith in God and in himself, yet as his character builds, he starts to mature as time went on. Eliezer’s experiences educate individuals that life in not always far; some individuals lose faith and give up yet some, like Eliezer, gain strength from their experiences and build up their character.
In The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, the protagonist, Esperanza, lives on Mango Street with her family and struggles with events where she is faced with adult responsibilities and maturity. In the vignette “Red Clowns”, she is taken advantage of and experiences an act of nature where she is transformed into a woman. Esperanza shows that overcoming catastrophes make you a stronger person. With such experiences comes strength and maturity.
In both Night by Elie Wiesel and The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, the protagonists, Esperanza and Eliezer are faced with events that make them stronger and better people. They are two examples of individuals that support the validity of the quote that Helen Keller once said “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through the experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired...
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