Hope In The Last Leaf

657 Words3 Pages
The brilliant Martin Luther King Junior once claimed that “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Throughout Gwilan’s Harp” by Ursula K. LeGuin, “The Washwoman” by Isaac Singer, and “The Last Leaf” by O. Henry each of the characters experience a loss of hope in a different way. All three stories exemplify the truth that pushing through difficult situations is much easier with an optimistic outlook. In Gwilan’s Harp, the talented and promising musician loses faith regarding her future, but then realizes her true identity by the end. Similarly, both mother and son in the Washwoman lose hope that she will return, but soon learn to never doubt her faithfulness. Finally, Johnsy in “The Last Leaf” refuses the possibility of recovery, but her hope is regained when a strong act of selflessness and bravery is illustrated.
Experiencing little to no hope after a series of unfortunate events, Gwilan lost her passion for performing as a harper. Naturally gifted, she simply gave up on her calling after the tragic accident while on the road. Furthermore, the author makes it clear that during thirty years of marriage “Gwilan never spoke of wanting another harp.” Instead of persevering
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This aspiring artist catches a deadly case of pneumonia and immediately accepts the worst possible outcome. Taking her life for granted, Johnsy claims, “The last leaf will fall today, and I shall die at the same time.” Gloomily, her negative attitude drains and devastates her roommate Sue, leaving her with a lack of hope as well. Learning of this foolish idea, the strange old neighbor selflessly gives his life to help Johnsy gain new sense of motivation for recovery. Painting the final ivy leaf on the brick wall outside the window, Mr. Behrman helps both young women to appreciate the gift of life in every
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