Causes Of Low Self-Esteem

1242 Words 5 Pages
Mandy Hale once said, “[s]elf-worth is so vital to your happiness”. Often, individuals with low self-esteem can achieve contentment by gaining a sense of self-worth. The main characters, Ethan Hawley, from The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck, and Charles Gaunt, from The Last Crossing by Guy Vanderhaeghe, both attain different levels of contentment during their journey to acquire a positive self-image. The protagonists recognize the causes of their low self-esteem, face obstacles, and achieve pleasure through their gain of self-worth.
To attain a sense of self-worth an individual must realize the causes of their low self-esteem. In The Winter of Our Discontent, Ethan Hawley understands that the biggest factors are his low social and
…show more content…
Growing up, Charles does not foster a loving relationship with his father. Charles’ father wonders how “twins, [Simon and Charles] treat their father so differently. Simon so affectionate, Charles so distant” (Vanderhaeghe 14). Simon and Charles share a strong bond, but the difference in their behaviour towards their father indicates there is a conflict between Charles and his father. This conflict eventually leads to the favouritism of Simon, which causes Charles to feel meaningless, ultimately lowering his regard for himself. Moreover, Charles’ relationship with his father further emphasizes Charles’ lack of self-image when he realizes, “[s]imon Father loves. Addington he respects […]. At his warmest, father ignores me” (Vanderhaeghe 36). Charles’ father explicitly dislikes Charles, which fosters a sense of worthlessness in Charles, and degrades his self-image. In summary, the protagonists must identify and acknowledge the factors impeding their gain of self-esteem, or else they it will limit their growth of a sense of …show more content…
Ethan only shows a small gain of self-worth, since he does not overcome the obstacles he faces, but still accepts the consequences of his actions. This allows Ethan to achieve some satisfaction even though his “light is out” (Steinbeck 275), because he realizes he needs to support his family “else another light go out” (276). Ethan acknowledges the root of his low self-esteem by admitting his corruptness. However, Ethan recognizes that he must live on in order to continue supporting his, giving him self-worth. Although the novel concludes with Ethan returning to his family, the reader infers that Ethan goes on to live a satisfactory lifestyle with

Related Documents