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Follow your dreams or never give up! Are phrases we often hear as young adults who face barriers and are in difficult circumstances which make it hard for us to believe in our dreams and in ourselves. In Tupac Shakur's poem “ The Rose That Grew From Concrete” He sets forth an example in life where despite the hard (concrete) circumstances and conflicts that one can be faced with, they can overcome and rise to their dreams. In Sophia Amoruso's book “Girl Boss” She is a girl who takes her life seriously and believes in herself and does not let her past affect her future because she had a hard past with shoplifting and stealing but she was able to move past it and do something productive with her life and become successful despite her circumstances.
Both literary works are greatly similar and share the same theme; the theme to always reach your goals despite the circumstances and to never give up is shown throughout as both characters forgot their past instead focused on their future, were self-made, and believed in themselves.
In the poem “Nature's Law” represents the ghetto where Tupac grew up there was a lot of violence and people were not expected to become something good or get an education. “ long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else ever cared.” (“The Rose That Grew From Concrete”) He makes it clear that in his past he faced a lot of hatred and no one else ever cared or was interested in what happened to him, much less if he was alive.
The feeling of isolation he felt made him stronger and more independent and he used it to overcome the odds and became successful. Tupac would be the rose while the concrete would be his past and his life in the ghetto in the past. He forgot about his past and continued to persevere and got to a place far away from the ghetto where he did not face any problems and was able to achieve his goals and aspirations.
In the book, Sophia’s parents were divorced and she was the daughter of middle-class parents in the mid-nineties. She learned to fend for herself when both of her parents lost their jobs, she started a lemonade business at age 9, read books about start-ups before she was in braces, and worked ten different jobs by the time she was 22. She dropped out of community college and lived with her step-aunt shoplifting and dumpster diving for food. She didn’t let her past and negative things stop her from where she is today “Focus on the positive things in your life and you’ll be shocked at how many more positive things start happening.” ( Amoruso, 45) When Sophia was diagnosed with a hernia she had no money for her surgery and at that point in her life she was at her lowest with no job, hence no money for food, medication, or medical care. “Think the best things exist in real extremes like that. Past and present, I mean mine is really extreme, but I think I'm really happy about it. It's like only through the low points that I appreciate the high points” (Amoruso, 64). Her past helped her become the successful person she is today and no matter how harsh her circumstances were she persevered.
Tupac who is self-made grew up without knowing his father and his mother was a single mother of two. Tupac had to stay in shelters and his mother became a crack addict and he was left all alone. In the poem, it mentions “ It learned to walk with out having feet.” Tupac had no help or support he was left to figure things out on his own at a very young age but he still managed to become successful and used the small opportunity he had which was him going to art school.. “Grew from a crack in the concrete” the ‘ Crack” is a symbol for opportunity. His achieving his obstacles all by himself greatly impacted him and allowed him to become a self-made millionaire.
Sophia who is also independent and self-made grew up with divorced parents and her dad was not supportive. As a teenager, her teachers thought there was something wrong with her. She was diagnosed with depression and ADD. She hated high school and finally managed to drop out of homeschooling. She had nobody in her life to support her everyone put her down she was left all on her own. ”Regardless of what your dreams are, if you listen only to those around you, the chances of your dreams coming true are very small. But, here’s the real shit: You can’t have it all, and nothing comes easy. You will make sacrifices and compromises, get let down, and let other people down, fail, and start over. But difficult doesn’t mean impossible, and you can control is how hard you try, and if or when to pack it in.” (Amoruso, 93) Sophia did not let others' opinions get to her and put her down she proved them wrong without anyone’s help but her own self. Sophia did not let her dad who told her she would not be able to pay the rent for the office on time or her competitors who said she did not have the support to launch a fashion company this big let her down. She knew all she had was herself at the end of the day and she knew that was all she needed. She managed to be extremely successful and became a self-made millionaire before the age of thirty.
Tupac’s success is greatly impacted by his belief in himself and his dreams. He believed that you could prosper alone and the only one that can hinder you is yourself. He was willing to stand alone and fight through conflicts. In the poem, Tupac’s tone is passionate, meaningful, powerful, and individualistic. He encourages the audience to keep pushing and to never give up on their goals and dreams even if it seems ‘impossible’ in the eyes of others as long as you strongly believe in it you can prove them wrong. “Funny it seems by keeping its dreams, it learned to breathe fresh air” ( “the rose that grew from concrete”). This line tells us that by believing in himself and keeping his dreams he managed to break barriers and proved he can and will do it all by himself and that he is capable. “Learned to walk without having feet” (“The Rose That Grew From Concrete”). He did not need others to help him he was neglected and he just had to believe in himself and he did not care to pay attention to those who never cared. He learned and thought himself without any support feet can symbolize support and walking can symbolize as his achieved goals.
Sophia’s success was also majorly impacted by her believing in herself when no one else did. She often says in the book “Just be your own idol” ( Amoruso, 73). She did not let her dad put her down, her competitors or her not having a car and making it difficult for her to ship the clothing item on time. She kept pushing she did not let mean and negative feedback get to her or her friends who would constantly tell her she was not going to make enough money in order to support herself. “When you believe in yourself, other people will believe in you too” (Amoruso, 89). She truly believed when you accept yourself others will too.
In conclusion, both literary works share the same theme of not giving up and working hard despite harsh circumstances. As Both Sophia and Tupac both had a very hard past Sophia did not have a home and went dumpster diving for food and Tupac who also went from shelter to shelter both of them forgot about their passed and worked towards their future. Sophia and Tupac were also both self-made millionaires Sophia owns a clothing company now and Tupac is a famous rapper both characters did not have the support of their parents and had nobody there for them except them themselves. The poem and Book both majorly focus on believing in yourself and not giving up even when no one else believes in you or support you. Nothing is impossible the word itself says I am possible.
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