How to Examine the Effects of Personal Hardships.
Hardships occur in and usually greatly impact the lives of everyone, especially those who are at an age where they are still discovering who they are and how they fit into the "big picture" of life. For most, this self-discovery takes place in a collection of years known as the teens and can involve anything from a bad break up to suicide to eating disorders and then some. Essentially, by the time a person hits legal age, they have experienced events that will forever change how they view themselves and the world they are about to enter. For this reason, examining how hardships effect personal development seemed of interest; adversity has been and is still present in both our lives as well as our peers, and has greatly impacted our futures in different ways.
The majority of the research will be in a psychological context since it is familiar. Both of us have had personal experience with depression, suicide, and other hardships that have changed us dramatically, and we intend to include those in our examination of the topic. Another context that needs to be explored is social, since society can dictate the boundaries on personal development; this would mostly be studied through interview of peers or historical examples such as the holocaust. In a literary context, we felt that various characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, The Good Earth, and Lord of the Flies brought up the question in discussions. Scout for example was stuck in the middle of racial issues brought on by her father's decision to defend a black man, and this led her to become more open-minded than most people in her small town. Mick was an outcast in both her family and her school, and her isolationism led her to her own version of reality known as the "inner room" which she eventually stepped out of. Wang Lung's hardships were mostly pecuniary, but turned him from a modest farmer into the type of person he use to resent.