A study of Life Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 and died on April 4, 1968. As an African American man in an intolerant society, King decided to lead the civil rights movement in the hopes of finding equality for all. He directed the march for freedom in Washington, D.C., where 250,000 people demonstrated. At this demonstration, he gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Despite being arrested 20 times, he received honorary degrees and a Nobel Peace prize. He used the prize money to further the civil rights movement. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on his hotel balcony while trying to help striking garbage workers in Memphis, Tennessee. Stanton is considered to be one of the earliest women’s rights activists in the United States. After being denied entrance to an anti-slavery because of her gender, she drafted the “Declaration of Sentiments” which called for equal rights for women—more specifically, the right to vote. Ms. Stanton gave speeches across the country as she worked towards her goal. She died on October 26, 1902 at the age of 87. The Nineteenth Amendment was proposed in 1915 to allow women to vote. It finally passed on August 18, 1920. Walter Lee Younger Jr. aspired to be a wealthy business man. Hindered by the oppressive time period where much of the culture believed African Americans to be second-class citizens in America, Younger devised a plan to buy a liquor store with his late father’s insurance money. The money, however, was stolen, and Walter was left with a broken dream. He nearly allows himself to accept the racism he faces in exchange for money. In the end, he decides that family is more important than money, and racism must be faced. He leads his family in a decision to move into an all-white neighborhood despite the certain prejudice. Lena only wishes for her family to be happy. She has seen hardship in that she has grown up with the lingering effects of slavery. She recognizes the prejudice her family faces merely because of their skin color. Her husband has died; her son is greedy; and her daughter cannot seem to find her identity. In order to help her family overcome their own obstacles, she buys a house in a part of town where no other African American family lives. Through a tragic event, the money she had set aside for the house is lost, and Lena gives up on her dream of helping her family through home-ownership. This dream is only rescued through her son eventually leading the family to move into the house. Age the age of 23, Lauren Scruggs walked into a plane’s propeller. She suffered a traumatic brain injury, the loss of an eye, and a severed left hand. With the help of rehabilitation and prosthetics, she is working towards getting her life back. She is currently working to regain her strength and has completely stopped using pain medication. She also says that she that she has gotten a deeper understanding and connection with her faith. Chris McCandless grew up in El Segundo, California. In 1990, Chris graduated from Emory University. After graduation, he disappeared. He left no forwarding address and sought to discover life through simplicity. He burned all of his money and identification, and he took on the name Alexander Supertramp. He traveled the country with the goal of living in Alaska surrounded by nature. Many say his rebellion was caused by his parents’ lifestyles (they were never married, but lied as if they were and seemed to put value in wealth and ‘things’.) Chris desired to live simply and honestly. His travels eventually took him to Alaska where he lived the simply life he so wanted. However, Chris died while in the wilderness due to a combination of starvation and poisoning. He was found by hunters 19 days after he died. His final message was scrawled out saying “I have had a happy life and thank the Lord. Goodbye and May God Bless All!” Oscar Pistorius is a South African athlete that competed in the London Olympics. At birth, he was diagnosed with fibulas. At only 11 months old, Pistorius’ legs were amputated just below the knees. With prosthetics, he badly wanted to compete on the world’s largest stage for an athlete—the Olympics. However, many felt that Pistorius had an advantage because of his bionic legs; thus, he was banned from competing. Through legal advise, he proved that he his prosthetics gave him no advantage over other runners. Just three weeks before the 2012 Olympics, Pistorius qualified for the team. Though he did not medal, many say that his ability to compete is more inspiration than any medal could provide. Living in New York in 1922, Jay Gatsby has built an empire. He owns the largest home, throws the best parties, and is socially connected to everyone who is important. He has created this realm from a poor boy known as Jay Gatz. His motivation: Daisy. She met him as a poor soldier. Despite their connection, Daisy married a wealthy man. It is Gatsby’s great hope that becoming wealthy will allow him to steal Daisy away. Despite almost winning her back, Gatsby is left dead after being left by Daisy and framed for murder by Daisy’s husband. Mr. George Wilson owns a garage in The Valley of the Ashes—a place between East and West Egg. He works hard and sets his own hours. Readers can hear sense of pride in what George feels he has accomplished. However, he soon learns his wife is cheating on him. In an effort to save his marriage, he locks his wife in a room and plans to close the shop so they can move somewhere away from the deception. Myrtle, his wife, gets free and runs towards a car she believes her lover is driving. This is a mistake as someone else is driving, and Myrtle is killed. George eventually believes that Jay Gatsby killed his wife. Therefore, he goes to Gatsby’s house and shoots him. Then, he shoots himself. Born in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 21, 1960, Jeannette Walls experienced many hardships. Her parents, Rex and Rose Mary, were neglectful. Her father—a drunk—lost every job he had. Her mother refused to keep a job. Jeannette and her siblings were forced to find food any way they could. Eventually, Jeannette, with the help of her sister, moved to New York where she graduated from Barnard College in 1984. She is a former MSNBC correspondent and the author of her memoir—The Glass Castle. Hester Prynne committed adultery with Reverend Dimmesdale. She had a child— Pearl. Though she refused to reveal the father, she raised the child to the best of her ability and worked hard to provide for them both. She is treated harshly by many but never retaliates. Despite her original indiscretion, Hester became one of the most respected people in the town due to her kind heart and strong work ethic. John Proctor, a farmer in a Puritan village, has committed adultery. Despite his sin, he loves his wife and is trying to prove himself to her again. Because of his mistress, much of the town is enveloped in a witch hunt. He struggles to expose his mistress—Abigail—for what she is: a liar. However, while attempting to expose her, Proctor’s wife lies in an effort to save his life. John briefly thinks he will lie in order to save his life, but eventually decides that honor and integrity is worth more. He dies knowing that he did not betray himself. His death, coupled with several others, eventually leads the town into stopping the maddening hunt for witches. Reverend Hale comes to Salem because there is the possibility that someone is a witch. He feels himself the utmost authority on witchcraft and conducts his investigation with an air of extreme confidence. Throughout the trials, he comes to realize that the primary witnesses are lying. Though he tries to stop the proceedings, many in Salem die despite their innocence.