Shame And Abortion By James Gilligan Analysis

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Every one of us experiences challenges in our lives, whether it be daily, weekly, or yearly. Life is a challenge - this is not to be taken negatively, but rather to recognize that life does not always work out the way we want it to. Our lives often become defined by how we deal with the challenges that come about, both ones we fail to meet and those we successfully overcome. What is a challenge? The answer is anything. Obstacles can range from something as unfortunate as being born with a disability to something as simple as attending school; the severity depends on the person and their current situation. No one would deny that we all experience different moments in our life of disappointment and sadness. However, we can not ignore them but rather must face them head on. In this essay, I will …show more content…
The root of this difference, as explained by James F. Gilligan in Shame and Humiliation, is mainly due to the presence, or lack, of self-esteem. Self-esteem is more important in our lives than many may realize. It is the backbone of our consciousness and affects essentially all of our decisions. Gilligan discusses how we all experience shame in our lives, but not everyone turns it into violence because some maintain their self-esteem. Those who do turn their shame into violence, however, have lost respect for themselves and exhibit their anger (Gilligan 6). An example of one of the negative effects of shame can be found in “All God’s Children” a book by Fox Butterfield, Chapter 4 - Pud - which discusses the lives of many African American sharecroppers down south in the early 1900s. White supremacy was at an all time high during this period and blacks were forcefully pushed to the bottom of society. Will Herrin was a poor black sharecropper who consistently experienced hardships in his work when the landlord refused to pay him for his hard work in the fields. Herrin was refused one day even after he brought in the most cotton ever.

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