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Unfulfillment of One’s Dreams, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1220

Essay

How does one achieve the fulfillment of their dreams?  The answer depends on how much drive that person may or may not have.  Often people do not fully achieve their true potential whether that potential be making the best grades possible in school or perhaps achieving the best results they have desired and are capable of in life.  An individual may fail to achieve success for various reasons, whether it is laziness or just simply a lack of drive or commitment.  In literature and in reality many people do not fulfill their potential and show an unfulfillment of one’s dreams.

Teen pregnancy is a major issue of today.  Each year more and more young kids are becoming pregnant.  For many areas around the county, this could even be considered a minor epidemic.  On average seven hundred fifty thousand become pregnant each and every year and that number is unfortunately steadily rising (Livestrong.com par. 1).  Teenage pregnancy can be caused by a number of things such as low self-esteem, poverty, desire for popularity, or even a negative outlook on life.  Complications are much more prevalent with teenage pregnancy because often the teen is afraid of becoming fat or smoking and drinking during the pregnancy.  In most cases teens that become pregnant are forced to drop out of school and almost never go on to college.  All of these setbacks can cause major problems for the teen and baby’s future and often lead to an unfulfillment of dreams for the entire family.

In the novel Things Fall Apart, a man rises and a man falls.  In the beginning Okonkwo has everything going for him and seems to be living a fulfilled life but as the story progresses the complete opposite occurs.  A young boy comes to live with Okonkwo and he becomes very fond of him.  Later his tribe says the boy must be killed and that Okonkwo must do the killing.  Upon this ruling, Okonkwo spoke to himself:

“When did you become a shivering old woman, Okonkwo asked himself, you, who are known in all the nine villages for your valor in war?  How can a man who has killed five men in battle fall to pieces because he has added a boy to their number?  Okonkwo, you have become a woman indeed” (Achebe 56).

This begins to show Okonkwo’s downfall.  His goal was to become the village leader and to rule all of Umofia.  However, this did not happen and the white man came to the village, built a church and began to gather followers.  “The white man is very clever.  He came quietly and peaceably with his religion.  We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay.  Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one.  He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart” (Achebe 152).  This quote is basically the overall theme of the novel and how Okonkwo’s life is a not fulfilled as he had hoped.Similarly, the novel Great Expectations has a theme that mirrors that of Things Fall Apart because both Okonkwo and Pip rise and fall.  Pip is a young boy who lives with his sister and her husband.  His sister treats him badly and brings him up “by hand.”  However, one day he goes to Miss Havisham’s home to work.  His life begins to get better as one day he learns he has a benefactor and he has been offered to move to London to become a gentleman.  The following quotation explains Pip’s reaction to leaving his home and entering a new life:

“I was to leave our village at five in the morning…and I had told Joe that I wished to walk away all alone.  I am afraid—sore afraid— that this purpose originated in my sense of the contrast there would be between me and Joe, if we went to the coach together.  I had pretended with myself that there was nothing of this taint in the arrangement; but when I went up to my little room…I felt compelled to admit that it might be done so….” (Dickens 156).

Pip is unsure if this is the truly the right thing to do but in the end his quest to become a gentleman makes him decide to accept the offer.  At the end of his learning, Pip finds out that his benefactor is a convict and that he has no real “Great Expectations.”  He is devastated and feels he is better than the convict, but Pip’s hopes of learning a great skill is shattered.  Just as Okonkwo had fallen, so too did Pip; and their lives were both unfulfilled.

Recently, during the Olympics, the country of Georgia experienced a great tragedy.  They lost a great athlete in Nadar Kumaritashvili.  Last week on a practice run, Nadar Kumaritashvili was sledding down the track at ninety-miles per hour when he lost control of his sled flew into the air hit the wall and died.  His story has been broadcasted across the world and has touched many people’s hearts.  His life was ended prematurely due to a rare, freak accident.  Nadar’s goal to compete in the Olympics was unfortunately unfulfilled and his enormous potential was taken away in an instant.  His father said that right before his death he had made a call home and had told his father “I will either win or die” (MoreThanTheGames.com.uk par. 4).  According to his father, it made him “feel a little uneasy but he dismissed it as a little childhood bravado.  He told me it was very difficult.  He was not afraid, but he told me, it is a difficult section.  He was not afraid, he was strong” (par. 6).  At the height of Nadar’s career he unfortunately lost his life.  His father said that he had been training for this moment his whole life that he was ecstatic to be competing.  This accident has raised many questions about the real safety of this event because of the dangers of traveling at around ninety-miles per hour down a treacherous track that has a horrific corner that throws many lugers off course.  At the height of his life and career he had everything taken away from him.  His tragic death is truly a devastating story for many people.  One thing is certain though, this was a freak accident and he did not fulfill his dream.

In conclusion, whether an individual is able to fulfill or not fulfill his or her dreams is an important aspect in everyday life.  People work towards their goals in all aspects.  However, it is up to you whether you fulfill your life or not.  Not everyone is able to fulfill their dreams or lives as it is clearly shown through the examples of teen pregnancy, Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart, Pip’s devastation in Great Expectations, and Nadar’s tragic story.

Works Cited

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart: and Related Readings. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell, 2008.

Dickens, Charles, and Linda M. Jennings. Great Expectations. New York: Puffin, 1995.

Livestrong.com. “Teen Pregnancy Rates In The USA.” livestrong.com – Health, Fitness, Lifestyle | livestrong.com. Web. 29 Mar. 2010. <http://www.livestrong.com/article/12504-teen-pregnancy-rates-usa/>.

MoreThanTheGames.co.uk. “Nodar Kumaritashvili Told Father, “I’ll Win or Die at the Olympics”” More than the Games | Sports News and Blogs from the UK Press. 15 Feb. 2010. Web. 29 Mar. 2010. <http://www.morethanthegames.co.uk/luge/158998-nodar-kumaritashvili-told-father-ill-win-or-die-olympics>.

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