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Essay on Helplessness

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Helplessness is essentially defined by inability to act or react, according to the Marian Webster dictionary. The nature of this definition is embodied into the play Fences and novels Sula and Persepolis. These pieces of literature vividly showcase and exemplify the causes and effects of helplessness in the lives of the characters. Helplessness has been personified in two major ways throughout the novels and play, the effect of race and the power of war. The novels of Fences and Sula showcases helplessness due to race while Persepolis reveals the effect of helplessness due to war.
In the play, Fences, several critical characters have faced the effect of helplessness during the course of the theatrical production. Troy was bound by the rules and regulations of the unwritten laws of society. Fact that this particular play was written in the 1980’s; it can be noted that social barriers between blacks and white were still prominent. Therefore, fact that Troy even sought after the privilege to drive the garbage truck, was startling towards Bono. Bono knew it would be a struggle to change job positions; therefore when Troy received the approval from the union, Bono becomes jealous of friend’s new sense of power. Even though Bono becomes jealous of his friend, Troy is still completely helpless towards the white community. For the past fifteen years, Troy has been paying the furniture company at the beginning of each month. He knows his debt has already been paid off, but he too scared to stop, “How long you say you been paying this ten dollar a month?” says Bano, “Fifteen years!” exclaims Troy (16). During this era, the blacks throughout the nation were helpless towards the unprecedented power of the whites. This domination carried ...


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...i and her parents to feel helpless and feel the loss of control of their lives.
While we can witness the effects of helplessness onto the characters, as readers we can implement their flaws into our lives. Each book as been written in a realistic setting, which reveals the effects of helplessness on to the realistic characters. Therefore, their mistakes can be taken to heart and used as guidance for future journeys. In Fences the effects of helplessness are vividly shown by the struggles Troy faces due to racism. The same can be said about Sula and how the basis of the town was established by racism and deception. However, at the same time Persepolis portrays the effect war can have on individual’s lives. Bits and pieces of all these works of literature can be put to effect into reality, thus allowing this added kernel of wisdom to guide us into the future.



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