The characters of Edna, Mr. Oakhurst, The Innocent, Piney, Mother Shipton, and The Duchess all face different forms of failure in their respective stories, The Awakening and “The Outcasts of Poker Flat”. Each character has a unique response to failure; some bend, while others break. Though at times people fall short of their goals, it is not necessarily the human lot to try and fail; sometimes people make the choice to fail by losing hope, or by viewing death as failure, or by having a negative outlook on life, but it is essentially they themselves who allow the failure- it all stems from the person’s perspective and individual choices. Even though humans don’t always succeed in their endeavors, humans are not predestined to fail.
Hope is arguably the one thing that keeps humans moving forward. Without it, there is no motivation, no reason to wake up in the morning. When people start to lose hope, they start to lose a part of themselves, and are driven toward despair. In The Awakening, the protagonist, Edna, says over and over again how despondent she is, which leads to her eventual suicide. It has been said that “There is no failure except in no longer trying,” and sadly, Edna gave into despair and lost the will to keep going. She felt as though life was no longer worth the effort, and decided death would be better than living a lie. And yet, there’s always more than one door to take. Edna didn’t search for other options- for her, it was either be untrue to her feelings, live without Robert, or death. She was too strong to pick the first, but too weak to
consider the second; she was awakened to her feelings, but blind to alternatives.
Dorothy Thompson once said, “Courage, it would se...
... middle of paper ...
...e Billy’s “failure” to do the right thing probably wasn’t much of a failure to him. Perspective defines failure, not some outside force.
What exactly is failure? It is, according to the dictionary, “Lack of success.” Many people say that “failure isn’t the falling down, but the staying down.” But who are we to say? Lack of hope, the thought that death and failure are one and the same, and a pessimistic outlook on life can cause someone to fail, but thankfully not everyone falls victim to these. Failure is always controversial, because people view things and events differently. As Elaine Maxewell once said, “My will shall shape the future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man's doing but my own. I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze. My choice; my responsibility; win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny.”
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