Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lit. Analysis #3 Soul Surfer 3/20/14


                                     Soul Surfer 

                                    by: Bethany Hamilton 


   Soul Surfer tells the story of a young woman named Bethany Hamilton whom lives for surfing; the culture, the style, everything about it she loves for it makes up who she is. One afternoon while surfing with a friend and her father, Bethany's worst nightmare happens. A 15 foot tiger shark bit her left arm right off that left Hamilton in a state of shock. She then was immediately taken to the hospital where surgery was performed right away to help stop the bleeding of this fatal wound. When Hamilton awoke, she didn't have her left arm which sent her into a state of depression for she wondered "How will I ever surf again?" Months later, while still in recovery, Bethany eventually had to re-teach herself how to surf and live life all over again without a second arm. Soul Surfer tells the first person story of Hamilton and what she had to do in order to sustain faith in her abilities,etc. to eventually get back on the board. As time goes by, Bethany's persistence pays off because she then became good enough at surfing with one arm to the point where she is still looked at as a pro surfer to this day! 

   After this life changing event that took place, Hamilton decided to write about her story because it was quite a story to be told in the first place. Hamilton tends to come off as someone who is very spiritual and believes in a higher power such as God. The big picture of this book was just to let readers know that they should be very fortunate for the things they have in life...such as limbs. It's fair to say that we all go throughout life wishing we could change this about ourselves or look this way blah blah blah however we also need to keep in mind that we all are living,breathing creatures that carry beating hearts that keep us alive everyday. To sustain faith and courage within ourselves is big in itself and that's explained throughout the chapters in this book. I decided to pick this book up and read it because I have always been interested in the ocean and surfing. I guess you can say that I'm a "water baby" and have been ever since I learned how to swim as a small child. Reading about Hamilton's story is very inspiring because if someone who only has one arm can re-learn everything and become a pro, then little events in my life that I struggle with can be fixed as well. 

   I remember when the movie Soul Surfer came out everyone was very interested and curious as to what came about of this girl that majority of us had never heard of. Was she going to give up? Had she lost who she was forever? Would she become a success story then burn out like some celebrities do? All of these questions were being thrown around within the community so I decided to do a little more research and find out what exactly was the big craze about this Bethany Hamilton woman. One day as I was in the library, I came across the book "Soul Surfer". At the time I was living in Utah where there is absolutely no beaches and or anything in general around the city where I lived so I decided to just pick up this book and read about the descriptions of the waves/beach. I later came across something that was far more interesting which was the whole story of pro surfer Bethany Hamilton and her survival story. Within the first chapter, it talked about sharks and what not so I was interested right away (sharks scare me). After that, I just couldn't get myself to put this book down until it was finished! 

   I found this book to be very realistic in the sense that all the vivid descriptions Hamilton wrote about made me feel like I could picture exactly everything she was saying. When it comes to connections with other people that I have in my life, there wasn't any one person I was able to compare Hamilton to because honestly, she seems to be a much better person that anyone I know. She's down to earth, has great morals, sustains faith in something that puts her family before anything. Being that she only has one arm, I feel that if I was in her situation I would feel sorry for myself all the time and not get back in the water however she didn't want to let her physical deficiencies hold her back from doing what she really loves to do.

    The biggest thing that I learned after reading this book was this: if you have a passion that you really love, then you would do anything for that passion regardless of how hard the work being put in really is. Two characters that stick out to me the most would be Bethany Hamilton and her brother Timmy (the youngest) because the bond they both share reminds me of the bond my sister and I share which is inseparable. I would definitely encourage others to pick up a copy of Soul Surfer and read it for themselves so they to can experience the different emotions that come up after reading this book.