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Essay: James Dickey: Overcoming Obstacles

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  • Subject area(s): English literature essays
  • Reading time: 3 minutes
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  • Published: January 12, 2020*
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  • James Dickey: Overcoming Obstacles
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(HOOK)“You are bound, my hunch is, to make it just fine” (Hart 244). (EXPLAIN HOOK)James Dickey once spoke these words when he spoke to a crowd about the difficult adversities we face in our lives. (TRANSITION SENTENCE)Adversity and obstacles are a natural part of life that we all deal with. (THESIS)I am going to show you how James Dickey experienced many obstacles in his life but those obstacles spring boarded him to success rather than turning into failure and I also explain what these obstacles and successes have taught me.

(TOPIC SENTENCE)James Dickey faced many obstacles in his life, but they have never stopped him from the success he found as a writer. (MAJOR POINT 1)When Dickey was a young man, he had a prestigious career creating advertisements for Coca-Cola in his hometown of Atlanta, GA (Suarez 34). (MINOR POINT 1)However, his heart always drifted toward his creative writing and he would spend hours every night writing his poems and stories after his long days at work (Ness 33). (MINOR POINT 1)Dickey threw caution to the wind and quit his job to dedicate his time to writing despite having a wife and two children to care for. (MAJOR POINT 2)Later, as Dickey began to rise to the heights of his fame, his wife, Maxine, died suddenly and left Dickey confused and alone (Hart 137). (MINOR POINT 2)He did not quit but went on with his duty to write and eventually became a Poet Laureate of the United States (Ness 207). (MAJOR POINT 3)Dickey also faced adversity when his second book, Alnilam, failed to reach the success of Deliverance. (MINOR POINT 3)He trudged on, however, and wrote one of his best books, To the White Sea. (CONCLUSION)Despite facing some of the roughest obstacles one will ever face, Dickey never let them bring him down and he went on to succeed even more than he ever had before.

(TOPIC SENTENCE)Success came to James Dickey in many ways despite the obstacles that he has faced throughout his life. (MAJOR POINT 1)Dickey’s greatest success was his first novel, Deliverance. (MINOR POINT 1)The novel became a national bestseller and was even made into a movie that was nominated for an Academy Award (The James Dickey Page). (MAJOR POINT 2)Dickey also, through his mastery of poetry, was awarded to read his poem at President Jimmy Carter’s inauguration. (MINOR POINT 2)The poem went on to become one his best selling books of poetry. (MAJOR POINT 3)Success also came to Dickey as a teacher at the University of South Carolina. (MINOR POINT 3)He went on to teach many future famous writers like Pat Conroy, D.C. Miller, and Dan Albergotti. (CONCLUSION)As Dickey trudged through the lows of his career, he also found highs that catapulted him to fame.

(TOPIC SENTENCE)Dickey’s obstacles and successes have taught me many things that I can apply to my own life. (MAJOR POINT 1)First, I learned that when bad things happen, ignoring them will not make them go away such as Dickey did when his wife died. (MINOR POINT 1)We need to face our adversity and believe in our talents because they will always lead us to our destinies. (MAJOR POINT 2)I also learned that even in the most difficult moments we face, no matter how painful, they can still overcome them like he did when his second book was called a failure. (MINOR POINT 2)Pain can scare us away from what we need to do but we must never let the pain kill our dreams. (MAJOR POINT 3)Lastly I realized that Dickey showed us that we must believe in what our hearts want like when he quit his job. (MINOR POINT 3)We must do what we are called to do rather than continue on in denying our talents. (CONCLUSION)Persistence is the key to reaching success and we must keep focused on our dreams in order to work toward them.

(SUMMARY SENTENCE OF 3 Topics)As you can see, the obstacles James Dickey faced in life led to the success that teaches us all how to trudge on to be better. (CALL READER TO ACTION)You can also reach your dreams if you stay dedicated to them even when misery may befall you. (SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT)Remember to always follow your heart and stay focused on your dreams like James Dickey did. (CONNECT BACK TO HOOK)As James Dickey said, “You are bound, my hunch is, to make it just fine,” and we must continue to believe that sentiment even when the future may seem bleak.


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