Essay Example on Breaking Night by Liz Murray Book Review

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January 2018 Breaking Night by Liz Murray Book Review is this book review supposed to be in present or past tense Liz Murray s harrowing tale shows the transition from sleeping on subways and doorsteps to an Ivy League school dormitory Murray grows up in the Bronx to loving but profoundly drug addicted parents who are unable to provide a stable life for Murray and her older sister Lisa She is forced to deal with truancy negligence sexual harassment loneliness hunger homelessness and her parents drug problems at a young age While Lisa maintains a nearly militant concentration on school Murray grows undisciplined stealing from supermarkets and gas stations for food The family completely fractures when Ma decides to split from Daddy and is eventually diagnosed with AIDS Lisa moves in with Ma and her abusive new boyfriend while Murray is placed in a girls home when Daddy signs away his parental rights to her Murray is eventually released into her mother s care but chooses instead to live on the streets with an increasingly unstable and manipulative boyfriend making her homeless at the age of fifteen When her mother dies of AIDS Murray is motivated to return to school and seek stability in life As she approaches graduation she applies to Harvard and a New York Times Scholarship both of which she attains Murray s childhood is a continuous struggle to sustain stability between survival resilience of human spirit and keeping her parents safe Murray does not blame her parents for the hurt that they inflict on her Murray writes that drugs are the wrecking ball that ruins her family and left her and Lisa lacking their basic needs This prompts numerous misfortunes including


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Ma s countless hospitalizations for cocaine induced mental illness and the fracture of their family 51 Despite Murray s irredeemably squalid home life she forgives her parents and describes them with sympathy and love because she knows they love her in an idealized dysfunctional way She understands that Ma had her own painful childhood which caused her to suffer from schizophrenia alongside drug addiction When Murray is tempted to skip class with her friends at Prep But I kept thinking about my transcripts the neat little columns of A s that I d written in blue pen sitting in the stairwell that night and that woman running track jumping hurdles checking off one A at a time 299 Even though Murray is homeless she is dedicated to finishing her entire high school education in two years and earning straight As Her persistence helps her overcome the many struggles in the world of poverty that she lives in When Murray earns an interview to Harvard and a scholarship from New York Times Had I known how difficult it was supposed to be to interview with Harvard or The New York Times had anyone told me that those were hard nearly impossible things to do then I may have never done them Uplifting but frank Murray expresses astonishment about how her life has changed for the better She expresses adoration for the teachers friends and strangers who gave her support that she needed to reach seemingly unattainable goals as a homeless teen also which tense is this third paragraph supposed to be in It sounds kind of awkward with present tense oh and also can i use the word I Murray describes her damaged childhood without hints of self pity in her honest and no frills prose As a reader I have never experienced anything as atrocious as the hunger homelessness and hardships that Murray faces Even with all the setbacks and heartbreak she manages to succeed in the end due to her persistence Moreover this story serves as an emotional tour de force for the children that were raised in a dysfunctional family One unique aspect that resonates with readers facing overwhelming obstacles is her forgiving and devoted attitude toward her parents


This forgiveness allows her to move forward and evolved her life Her story conceptualizes resilience as a process rather than a static characteristic Although Murray does not always display a high level of resilience her memoir enables the reader to be aware of how she was able to develop resilience over time as her life evolved When considered through the lens of resiliency theory disadvantages and setbacks are seen as positives each difficulty that is successfully overcome increases one s resilience Furthermore readers struggling with blaming others or self blame will appreciate and realize that blame is hindering their progress in life Similar to resilience developing forgiveness is a process Murray proves that successful people do not necessarily experience fewer stressors than those who are less successful rather the answer lies in the way these life events are interpreted Through this forthright yet moving memoir Murray provides a heartwarming tale of one person s unlikely victory when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds


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