Becoming Apart Of Something Bigger Than Ourselves Analysis

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“An Unintended Life”
“When something is meaningful, it has significance and worth not just to ourselves or even our closest friends and family, but to a much larger group” (McGonigal 446). In Jane McGonigal’s essay “Becoming Apart of Something Bigger Than Ourselves”, this is a part of her definition of meaning. When reading and thinking about this quote, it evidently relates to Elizabeth Eckford and Hazel Bryant’s lives during their child and adult years described in the novel written by David Margolick, “Elizabeth and Hazel, Two Women of Little Rock”. Both ladies, though in different ways, brought meaning into their lives starting with a famous photo taken portraying racism during the civil rights era. The definition of meaning McGonigal
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Elizabeth is introduced to readers as a timid, unexperienced, black girl, but, from the time she took her first step onto Central High’s property on that September day, those characteristics completely changed. Elizabeth growing up in a household that wasn’t a traditional family oriented environment and being raised by a mom who coached her in being scared and average, she did not grow up in favor of becoming the strong, courageous girl she transformed into through her experiences at Central High. The first day at Central High when 15-year-old, lonely Elizabeth arrived to face a mob of angry, white bigots, she experienced what would be the start of her traumatic, epic life. Jane McGonigal expresses the word epic as “something that surpasses the ordinary” (McGonigal 447). For something to be epic, it has to be immense and greatly different in meaning and/or physicality and there is no doubt that what Elizabeth endured on September 4th, 1957 was epic. It was the first time America had seen such vicious racism because it was done upon a 15-year-old girl child and she was treated as if she was a terrorizing threat to society. It is epic because nothing like that had ever happened before in history and it was even more shocking that Elizabeth dealt with it like she did. Though she knew that going to Central High school that day, being one of the nine African American students, she would face some troubles, but she, nor anyone else, could imagine that she would have to become so strong and relentless to get away from the group of people harassing her down the blocks of her school. Elizabeth’s first day was “not just a moment, but [an event that tickled the soul and sent shivers down the spine]” (McGonigal, 447) Whether or not she had that spine shivering feeling, people of America and people of the world felt the epic feeling of heroism and

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