Horace’s asserts through adversity, hidden talents are brought to the surface, which would otherwise lay dormant. This claim has proven to be a timely truism in literature and history.
Heroes and heroines of the literary canon have long faced strife and turmoil. In meeting these challenges, they have demonstrated incredible grace under pressure and have subsequently built admirable strength of character. Ruth Copeland, from The Third Life of Grange Copeland, had to overcome generational poverty and ignorance. Ruth uses her patience to overcome adversity and hegemony. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne overcame being a sinner and an adulterer. She allows others to see the strength she gained and her acceptance to the punishment society imposed on her. Both characters overcame some kind of hegemony and ignorance that surrounded them.
Whereas many literary figures rise to greatness in the world of fiction, history has shown us real life leaders that overcome real life adversities, while exhibiting admirable character. Martin Luther King, Jr., an African-American man, overcame racism and discrimination. King believed, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” King’s patience and non-violent protest allowed an end to racism and discrimination. Helen Keller helped put an end to the idea that those who are disabled are incapable of overcoming adversity and becoming successful and adequate members of society. Keller overcame being blind and deaf by becoming a famous speaker, author, and activist. Neither Keller nor King allowed the discrimination they both received to lay dormant. By overcoming their adversity, they both changed society. Helen Keller once said, “Although the world is filled with suffering, it is also filled with overcoming it.” Adversity isn’t about the challenges; it’s about the strength gained from those challenges....
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