Warriors Don't Cry Analysis Essay

663 Words 3 Pages
A warrior is a hero, a role-model, fearless, loyal, persevering, brave - there are few that are able to fulfill these standards. Yet Melba Beals, a fifteen year old girl, not only claims this illusive role, but cannot escape it. Through the journey into integration Melba acts as a dynamic juxtaposition, moving from a scared little girl to a fierce soldier, yet never truly satisfied with her position. This conflict arises from her personal, family, and religious values, the impact of integration in Little Rock, and her experiences during her time at Central High. The title Warriors Don't Cry is employed as a command as well as a way of life and later a regret as this memoir progresses.

As Beals' journey begins so do the warrior
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She was not raised to fear white people, and this forms the crux of why she was not only a student, but also a warrior who was brave enough to handle the bigotry that she did. She was raised to value herself, her family and God, realizing the both freedom and dignity are a state of mind (9).

The juxtaposition of strength and powerlessness causes conflict to arise in Beals' mind; she must be patient and accepting of discrimination, God's timing and her surroundings, yet is taught to stay strong and eventually fight against it. For this reason, when her journey begins she must tell herself "to be like a soldier in battle" and not "cry or mope" (149) when she is taunted and harassed in school. At this junction, "Warriors Don't Dry" is a command for herself. Yet, she develops "fierce self-confidence that is aptly attributed the warrior" (144) as the memoir progresses.

Through her experiences at Central High, Beals actually begins to embody the warrior persona which she has fought to make herself believe she is; without this, the circumstances surely would have overcome her. It is through this embodiment that Beals discovers that she, the warrior, will not settle for less, and that the idea of bravery made her willing to take on the task of being the first black girl in an

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