Grade 12 Comparative Essay

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A Means of Existence
How do experiences, good or bad, shape the identity of an individual and make them stand apart from others? In the award winning novel A Complicated Kindness, by Miriam Toews and the classic best seller Anne of Green Gables, by L.M Montgomery, the struggle and desire to find personal identity is profound. Through a series of experiences, the main characters in each novel, one a rebellious Mennonite and the other a red headed orphan, are forced to look within themselves and realize one of the most commonly asked question, “who am I?” As both Nomi and Anne grow internally, not only do they find gratification for themselves, but they also allow others to be set free in the same way. From the beginning of the book to the
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Through Matthew’s death, Anne realizes her full potential and the meaning of her life. Death of life is a shared experience in both A Complicated Kindness and Anne of Green Gables. Although death of life affects many of the characters in the novels, it mainly affects Nomi and Anne, who take their mourning and use it to grow. Because of this death, both characters make life changing decisions; Nomi decides to leave her community in East Village and Anne decides to refuse her scholarship at Queens University and stay home with Marilla, her mother figure. Finally, death of religion defines Nomi as a person when she is unable to follow her religion, “People here just can’t wait to die, it seems. It’s the main event. The only reason we’re not all snuffed at birth is because that would reduce our suffering by a lifetime. But I’ll have no part of that”, (5, Toews). As a Mennonite, Nomi is expected to follow her religion. One important part of religion to Mennonites is the thought of afterlife, which as Nomi states, is all people seem to be living for. However, instead of following the pessimistic outlooks that people have on life, Nomi decides to rebel against her religion and live her life how she pleases. In Anne of Green Gables, the death of religion can be seen progressing Anne's identity through her decision to turn her back on the Catholic faith, “Anne hoped that tears would come in solitude…she found it hard to
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