Prayers For The Stolen: A Character Analysis

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People’s self-concept and perception of who they are as individuals is one of the most fundamental things they should know in life, and it is foundational in people thriving and growing as confident functioning members of society. Our physical appearance, social traits, social roles, interests, beliefs, and strengths and weakness all compose an image that makes people unique and different from all the other people around them (Adler 30). The part of self-concept that involves how people view these qualities and their self-worth is called self-esteem (Adler 30). People can have a positive or negative self-esteem, and there are many influences that can enhance and build self-esteem or lower and diminish self-esteem. A common theme throughout…show more content…
Maria is a girl who was born with a harelip and was considered as having “all the bad luck that God had to give” the day she was born (Clement 38). Maria only saw her self-concept as being ugly, disfigured, unlovable, cursed, and good for nothing. No one, not even Maria feared that she would ever be stolen into sex trafficking since she was not beautiful. Although Maria has close friends who accepted her, she was considered ugly by everyone in Guerro. Her own father even left her and her family after she was born as a result of her harelip. In Prayers for the Stolen, Maria says, “A boy is never going to want to love me and that’s that” (Clement 17). Maria claims that she does not care that no man would ever love her because she doesn’t want to be loved. However, in the heart of every person there is a desire to be loved and accepted for who they are. Harsh words and criticism have been the only thing that Maria has known throughout her life. No one believes in her and affirms her value as a person, which has caused her to have a low view of her self-worth. Ultimately, harsh words can be just as destructive and painful as physical abuse and that is evident in Maria’s low self-esteem and confidence as a…show more content…
Maria is special and beautiful because God created her. While I do not know why God allowed her to be born with a harelip, I do know that Maria has value and purpose regardless of how people think she looks. Our value is not found in physical appearance but found in the fact that she is a human being made in the image of God. Maria’s physical traits are subordinate to her inner character and personality. Although her family and friends and people all around her may think she is ugly, good for nothing, and will never get married because of her harelip, Maria can make a difference in the world, because she has the ability to identify with the numerous people who feel ostracized and outcast from society. She has the ability to reach out to those with deformities and disabilities, because she too knows what it feels like to be different than everyone else. Maria is more than a girl with a harelip, she is a unique, important human being who has the potential and power to make a difference, which is what we should all strive to do in this world. As Maria, Rita, and Ladydi’s self-concept and self-esteem is presented throughout Prayers for the Stolen, it is clear that the words and expectations of others have the power to influence one’s self-esteem in a positive or negative way. Words have the power to build people up or tear people down. When someone calls someone something
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