Term Paper: Unseen

Pages: 5 (1479 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] To break free of the vicious circle of poverty that exists in such places, Cendric had to work twice as hard as his more affluent counterparts and through it all, hope and faith were the only things that could help him attain his goals and reach his final destination.

A boy if he's lucky, discovers his limitations across a leisurely passage of years, with self-awareness arriving slowly. That way, at least he has plenty of time to heroically imagine himself first. Most boys unfold in this natural, measured way, growing up with at least one adult on the scene who can convincingly fake being all-powerful, omniscient, and unfailingly protective for a kid's first decade or so, providing an invaluable canopy of reachable stars and monsters that are comfortably make believe." (Pp. 30-31)

Hope held special meaning and significance for a child who had been raised in dismal poverty but wanted to escape his immediate problems and was looking for a better future. It is important to understand here that strength and significance of hope differ from person to person and is highly dependent on the circumstances and odds. Hoping for a better future is easier for someone with status, financial abundance and good academic background however the same would require immense patience and strength on the part of someone who lacks all those privileges. Someone like Cendric Jennings needed a deeper faith and much stronger desire to excel in order to escape the extremely poor circumstances and achieve his goals. For many, Cendric was the hero but for the protagonist himself, life was tough since he was an outcast among his own people and while he wanted to be a role model for his peers, he had somehow alienated himself from them due to his unprecedented success.

Once word got out about his acceptance [to Brown], he noticed a grimness start to come over his antagonists in the halls. It was easier to be the headstrong monk, a boy on a long-shot mission, before he'd actually won anything. With the prize in hand, he realized his single-minded drive came across as aloof cockiness; his painful martyrdom suddenly looked like self-nomination for sainthood. So he toned it down, not telling anyone about the Clarence Thomas meeting. Not discussing his preparations for Brown. Not talking too much about the awards. Pride, he knows, can get you killed in a place like this." (126-127).

Hope and faith have taught Cendric important things. These are the lessons he holds on to when the general social beliefs and attitudes intimidate him. For example studying at Brown University was intimidating enough but faith had taught him to believe in himself as a human being and to never allow others to judge him on the basis on his skin color or financial circumstances. For example one passage on identity shows how Cendric had learned to believe in himself and how faith had transformed his thinking.

I think your identity should come from something you take pride in. It shouldn't be something that just sets you apart from other people, it should be one of those things that... people generally understand is a good thing, something we all share, rather than what separates us. I mean, the things that make up identity are deeper things than skin color or whatever. Thing, I don't know, like character or our faith or how we treat other people." (177) hope in the Unseen' chronicles the tough life of one highly determined young man whose faith and hope in the future took him out of the ghettos and helped him become of the Ivy League. Author Ron Suskind had been planning to write about extraordinary kids in bad schools and this took him to Frank W. Ballou Senior High where he met Cendric. A bright and highly intelligent young man, Cendric couldn't relate to other kids in the school and was mostly alienated from his peers. His aloofness and reserved attitude were indicative of the fact that he was different and considered himself a misfit in a school where drugs and violence were rampant. Cendric was different because he hoped for a better future and unlike other kids, he possessed a keen desire to succeed and make life better for himself. This was what other kids lacked and thus while they kept suffering in the ghettos; Cendric went on to become part of one of the most prestigious universities of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Unseen.  (2004, January 29).  Retrieved June 15, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/unseen-been/5461810

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