Perspectives on Hope: Eudora Welty's A Worn Path, and Maya Angelou's Still I Rise

Perspectives on Hope: Eudora Welty's A Worn Path, and Maya Angelou's Still I Rise

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The emotion of hope is important because life is uncertain. Factors such as wealth, education and opportunity may play a role in dividing people into different social categories, but no amount of privilege or advantage can shield a person from disappointment, pain, loss or death. These are universal adversities for all humankind. The word hope can be defined in different ways. Many religious people think of hope as a virtue, along with faith and love. Survivors of trauma often credit hope as the inspiration that kept them going. A realists may say that hope is nothing more than wishful thinking. No matter how it is defined, whether it is a belief or a feeling, hope is the idea of something bigger than oneself. The application of hope can provide comfort, strength and encouragement. Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” is a story of one woman’s hopeful, determined journey. Overcoming every obstacle and distraction in her path, she perseveres in order to complete her objective. Similarly, Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” tells the story of strength and resilience during adversity. The poem is a celebration of the endurance and hope of the African-American race. While both of these narratives highlight the unfortunate American history of racism, the stories also relate the importance of hope and the impact it can have on one’s life. During times of adversity, the human spirit is strengthened and inspired by the emotion of hope.
When considering the importance of hope and its value to society, it is important to mention that without hope humankind would be lost. Optimism and determination have made a lasting impact on history. Hope has affected the past by fostering the resilience and fortitude required to fight injustices such as racism. The ...


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...e that hopefulness does not equal the ability to change reality. Instead, it is a desire for a favorable outcome. Hope can help create understanding for the past, provide a balm for the present and create an enthusiasm for the future. Strength can be found in times of weakness through hope. Without it, life is meaningless.





Works Cited

Angelou, Maya. “Still I Rise.” Roberts and Zweig 1136.
Orr, Elaine. “Unsettling Every Definition of Otherness: Another Reading of Eudora Welty’s ‘A
Worn Path’.” South Atlantic Review 57.2 (May 1992): 57-72. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Anna J. Sheets. Vol. 27. Detroit: Gale Research, 1998. Literature Resource Center. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.
Roberts, Edgar V. and Robert Zweig, eds. Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing.
10th ed. Boston: Longman-Pearson. 2012. Print.
Sykes, Dennis J. “Welty’s A Worn Path.”

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