Pope Joan Obstacles

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When it comes to hardships, a person can either burn in the flames of pressure or rise from the ashes of pain into new life and new chances. Throughout time, heroes have faced challenges and have come out victorious. In the novel Pope Joan, written by Donna Woolfolk Cross, one hero named Joan faces pain and obstacles that challenge her wit, determination and strength. However, through her affinity toward knowledge and willingness to take risks, Joan manages to survive and achieve greatness. Even in her childhood, Joan’s love for learning causes pain and challenges. However, the very things that set her back also help her overcome these obstacles. Early in her childhood, Joan discovers her love for learning when her brother Matthew teaches her to write her name. Despite her excitement and glee, her very first obstacle occurs from this act. As soon as her hopes began to soar, Matthew refuses to teach…show more content…
In one instance, one of the brethren becomes gravely injured as a form of punishment. Cross sends a chilling image of his critical condition, describing his screams as “… a great terrible, tearing cry from the center of his being” (189). Brother Benjamin, the physician, can’t wrap his head around a way to save his brethren. Joan, seeing his life fading fast, must dig deep within her mind and come up with a solution to save him. Suddenly, Joan recalls “Hippocrates’ treatise on wounds,” (190) she recalls, “the shock of violent injury’ Joan continued with a barely perceptible degree of impatience. ‘According to Hippocrates, it can kill a man with a penetrating chill that emanates from within” (191). Against all previous odds, Joan’s plan works, saving the man. The knowledge Joan retains from the books she constantly reads helps her save this man, and gains the respect of the brethren around her giving her an advantage in the

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