thesis: what is a story of hope?
A story of hope is a story about how someone we can relate to overcame the impossible by having the resilience to never give up on what they could control. A story of hope also inspires belief in the audience that they could do the same.
“Inspires belief in the audience”. The reason I chose to include this in my thesis was because of the common theme that every story of hope I’ve read so far has included. In everyone the author wants us to walk away feeling like there always something we can do. No story ends on a low.
“on what they could control”. This part of my thesis is more unique to me from what I’ve seen my other classmates write. My evidence for this part of my thesis comes from our class discussions. Often people would say things that implied that just by having hope, you could survive a hurricane. But the truth is a hurricane won’t stop because your hopeful. Having hope gives us the strength and resilience to continue to try. This is why hope is so powerful. So it was important to me to highlight that hope is what allowed the people in these stories to succeed because they were giving their all to what they could control, and not just because they were hopeful.
During the beginning of our project “Stories of Hope” we have been reading, stories of hope. In the 4 stories we read, three of them tackled a different key vocabulary word. After reading these stories we worked as a class to discuss and further our understanding of the vocabulary. In this post, I will lay out my new understanding of what these vocabulary words mean and ultimately define what a story of hope is.
We began the project by reading “How Resilience Works”. This was a long and higher grade-level text and was full of information. One of my takeaways from the reading was that not everyone could be resilient. In the stories, it was often highlighted how many others gave up or didn’t make it. Another piece of information that has affected my definition of resilience was the way a person in one of the stories was often not just facing a challenge once, but multiple times. Resilience was about not giving up, again, and again, and again. So the way I would define resilience is “the ability to overcome and recover from multiple trials and challenges”.
Next, we looked into what surviving was by reading “The New Survivors”. This piece of writing was very touching and inspiring. My main takeaway was about how being a victim changed to being a survivor specifically when talking about cancer. This helped me adjust my definition of surviving to “going through a dire situation and not giving up”, or to “continue to exist through any challenge”.
Our next story also focused on someone who survived a shark attack. So what made this story about adversity and not survival? What we talked about in our group discussion was what made surviving different than overcoming adversity. In the case of this story, the girl survived a shark attack, she went through a dire situation and didn’t give up. The adversity she had to overcome was the fact that she now had one arm. She couldn’t surf the same and it meant she had to find new meaning. That was the adversity. So my definition of adversity is “a hardship in life that can be unique for everyone”.
Finally, I read the story “the last leaf”. This story was about hope. I think hopes definition was already set before I read this, “believing and desiring that a certain thing will happen”. What I learned most from this story was how hope can work. The last leaf on the vine was acting as a symbol of hope for the sick girl. She didn’t believe that the leaf would last through the storm, but it did. This symbol of hope and its ability to survive helped inspire hope within herself to beat her sickness.
So after reading all these passages what is a story of hope? To me, it’s a story about someone who faced a dire situation, refused to falter and demonstrated that they had the resilience, mindset and hope to survive. Especially important is that a story of hope should act just like the last leaf on the vine. It should leave the reader feeling inspired that if our main character could survive, then so can we.