The year is 1942. Families living in their most beloved country, the United States of America, stare at their radio sets in onset fear as they witness secondhand one of the most destructive and harrowing events in the history of their country. Standing before all this is a man who has gone through tough and harsh times, due to an illness he has contracted earlier in his life. The man is Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and he must now deliver one of the most heroic speeches his land will ever need. Similar to Roosevelt, there are many people in both history and literature who have been plagued with an illness or wound. These people either step down to the wound, or learn to overcome it. The “Unhealable Wound” is a reoccurring archetype in literature, expressing an injury or defect that a character must learn to beat in order to stay alive or acquire success. In A Separate Peace, Finny shatters his leg and must learn to forget sports and move on with his life. In The Poisonwood Bible, Adah Price is born with a limp and minor paralysis of the left side of her body. She is looked at as an inferior to her sisters, and must learn how to ignore this constant criticism. It is necessary for these two characters, as well as FDR, to ignore their “wound” in order to be successful and happy.
In ASP, Finny encounters a drastic turn of events in his life. After creating a “society” in which a member must jump off a tall tree and into a stream to retain membership, Finny falls off awkwardly after his best friend Gene “jounced the limb” (Knowles 60). After a few days, Finny learns that “one of his legs… had been shattered” (Knowles 61). Being an athlete, Finny’s playing days are over. In risk of shattering the leg a second time, the school doctor orders Finny to never play contact sports again. After being told that his best friend, Gene, did in fact knock him off balance by swaying the branch he was crouching on, he is plagued with anger and frustration. In turn, Finny rushes down...
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