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'Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incommunicable past.'

GatikGola 1 / -  
Aug 21, 2018   #1

Princeton Quotation essay

'Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incommunicable past.'
-from My Antonia by Willa Cather

As Antonia acts like an eponymous protagonist in the nostalgic novel My Antonia, similarly there is a character in my life that has trod on the same path as her - my mother. The day I read the book, Antonia's adventures powerfully resonated with my mother's experiences. There are innumerable instances with her in my life that truly define my personality and the way it has come out to be in this society. However, among the several exemplars in the portfolio of memorable moments, I recall a period of my life that throws some light on the crucial phase of metamorphosis.

My family had been living with my father's five brothers and their families in a five-storeyed building. By far, we have spent our worst times at that place. Ostracism and condescension were one of the many reasons which serve as a concrete foundation for extreme, unpleasant feelings from our hearts. My oldest uncle gave us bare shillings to get adequate staples and fulfill our other basic needs. - quite similar to the situation Antonia faced during her stay at a fragile sod house in Nebraska. We were completely helpless due to my father's economic dependency on his oldest brother and my mother's confinement to the kitchen. Regardless of the situation, my mother stepped up and emancipated us from the brutal life of servitude.

Her boldness has taught me to be fearless, her struggle has motivated me to seek things that really matter in my life, and her perseverance has prepared me to work relentlessly for the passion I am striving for. Nevertheless, the most important thing I learned from her attitude was the simplification of things for a better, smooth functioning of subsequent events. Though we had a tough time after disassociating ourselves with the relatives yet, eventually, we managed to gut it out and scoop up the treasure life had in offer for us. Things eased out purely because of the unrestrained freedom from the shackles of bearing forced relationships.

I always look back at that time of mental awakening as the most important of my life, mainly because of the life lessons it entails. Almost anything I do has an element of simplicity, passion, and vigor to excel in it. As long as I obey these principles in my life, I invite everything but implications.

Holt - / 7,580 2001  
Aug 22, 2018   #2
Gatik, what was it that your mother did which emancipated you from your father's brothers? How did this show her strength and what lesson in perseverance did you learn from it? Somehow, I feel like this essay focuses too much on your mother and not enough on your direct relationship with the quotation you chose for this essay. Since this is a quotation essay that should help the reviewer get to know an aspect of your personality or character trait not addressed in the other prompts, I do not believe that the focus on your mother should be so great in the essay. You may refer to the experience and how she got the family out of the dire situation but focus more on your opinion of your mother, in relation to the quote and how her actions are reflected in your personality today.

Truth be told, your mental awakening reference in the essay is almost non-existent because it focused too much on the backstory of your family and your mother. It would be better to summarize the events into a single paragraph so that the rest of the essay can tell the story of your mental awakening along the lines of the quotation you chose instead.

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