Period Nine English APC8
19 November 2011
Pride: Pain and Power
As seen in the book Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes, pride is a powerful emotion and power, seeing as it can cause not only positive effects such as confidence, but also negative effects like arrogance and harm. The book is centered on Johnny Tremain’s pride, and it benefits people, harms Johnny and others, changes people’s perspectives about Johnny, and plays a role in Johnny’s accident.
One way we may all see pride, a beneficial and positive way, is as one’s satisfied self-evaluation to his or her actions. Johnny is a proud and powerful child, his skill and power being the cause. The pride’s benefit is that Johnny gains confidence. This confidence is what motivates him to do his work skillfully. He being able to skillfully work benefits the Lapham family, helping them bring food to their table. Another way that pride benefited Johnny and the people around him is that it taught him a lesson. Pride taught him that he needs to swallow his pride sometimes and not to be arrogant. When Dove burned Johnny, causing Johnny’s right hand to be crippled, taught Johnny that sometimes one needs to learn to withhold his or her pride and it may lead them to success. As Johnny starts to learn this lesson, he begins to gain friends like Rab and he even sees an example of his own pride in Mr. John Hancock. John Hancock rejected Johnny
from a job because of a crippled hand and Johnny spoke to him about how funny it was that he burnt his hand because he was building the cup for Hancock and now Hancock was not giving him a job because of the burnt hand. Pride is a beneficial trait to Johnny because it gives him confidence in his work and taught him a lesson about itself.
Pride, of course, can be defined in a negative way, too. Pride can refer to a rise in one’s status in their own mind; another way of saying “arrogance”. Johnny and the people who cared about him were...