The Importance of Believing in Yourself, Illustrated in Oppel's Silverwing

The Importance of Believing in Yourself, Illustrated in Oppel's Silverwing

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Silverwing: Believe in Yourself

When one is constantly being put down, one tends to put themselves down and feel weaker than what is true. When that person attempts something, one does not perform to their full potential, only the low standards set for them. In Silverwing, by Kenneth Oppel, Shade is a Silverwing bat, the runt of his colony. He is constantly being put down, so he tries to do something crazy which gets his colony in trouble and results in resentment by his peers. Later, when he gets blown to shore without his colony, he makes a friend and learns to survive without his mother. During Shade’s journey he tries to fit in, matures and changes his way of thinking which results in him gaining courage and strength.

People are always trying to find a place to fit in. One tries to be like others to be included in a group or even to be accepted into society. There are some things that can not easily be changed and have to be accepted, like one’s size or skin color. Shade is always jealous of the other bats’ size, and he wishes to be like them, big and strong, more than anything else: “Runt. He hated that name – even though he knew it was true. Compared to Chinook and some of the other newborns, he was small, very small,” (Oppel, 6). Shade is used to being offended by the other bats; he no longer bothers feeling bad about what they say. He does not try to fight against the negative statements made about him; he just accepts it as true. He would love for it not to be true and to have the courage to disagree with the statement. Shade has given up on fighting back and he is letting himself be put down and walked all over. Shade is the runt of his colony and he is comparing his size to that of the other bats, making himself...


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... mature and be part of a group. Shade does not fit in and makes an effort throughout the story to do so. It is made difficult because Shade is a runt and he tries to change his way of thinking to fit in but the change is too drastic. He feels that he needs to prove himself to fit in but eventually his way of thinking changes and he learns more. When Shade completes his courageous journey, he feels much bigger and he shows his full potential. He feels bigger because he has grown physically and his personality has too. Many people would not have the courage to complete what Shade did. This novel clearly proved how much someone can gain from an opportunity to do something independently, and how much potential one can turn out to have even if it took a long and difficult task to prove it.


MLA Citation
Oppel, Kenneth. Silverwing. Toronto: Harper Collins, 1997.


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