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Grow From Defeat

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“Defeat” can be defined in several different ways. To be checkmated in a game of chess, to lose the state championship, and to lose a bet are all situations people might feel they have been defeated. Being defeated isn’t fun, and can make a man a sore loser. When a man loses, he ha a choice to make. He has the option to cut his losses and move on or he can absorb what he did wrong and learn how to become better. Many would describe defeat as a bitter taste in the mouth of hard-worker. Defeat can be viewed as a make it or break it moment in a man’s life. After losing the state championship game, does the team pack up and quit or does it learn from it’s mistakes to come back stronger next year? To de defeated may hurt, but it’s not always a loss. Kahlil Gibran conveys a message every person should know. The meaning behind “Defeat” is to grow from defeat.

Throughout the poem “defeat” is repeated several times. “Defeat, my Defeat” starts every paragraph of the poem which indicates the character is referring off of something he recently lost. Gibran uses personification to exemplify “defeat” to  make it a real object and not just a word. By writing “my defeat” it helps the reader connect the word straight to the character. Gibran also repeats the phrase every time he starts a new paragraph which indicates to the reader the significance of the phrase. Personification and repetition help Gibran reiterate his theme that defeat is an important aspect of his poem.

After starting with “defeat, my defeat” at the beginning of each line, two character traits are described. “My self-knowledge and my defiance” are one example of a phrase stated. Gibran uses diction to his power by stating character traits that help indicate his thesis. “Self-knowledge” can be interpreted as the ability to teach yourself. “Defiance” can be interpreted as the unwillingness to back down. Self-knowledge and defiance are two key traits into growing as an individual. After missing the game winning shot, a player must have the self-knowledge to recognize what he did wrong in order to correct it. He also has to have defiance so he won’t give up. He must deny the easy way out. Gibran uses words such as self-knowledge and defiance to illustrate his theme that a person can grow from defeat.

In Gibran’s poem “defeat” can be viewed as more as person than an action. In every starting line it seems as though he is talking directly to defeat itself. Using this tactic brings many emotions into the poem. By associating defeat with a person, the reader can assume the character has been closely associated with defeat. Addressing “defeat” as a person make the poem more vivid. Imagery is the key asset to truly grasping a poem. In the fourth paragraph the character refers to defeat as his companion. As a reader, I view a companion as a best friend, someone you can hug, someone your very close to. With the use of imagery, Gibran shows how real defeat can be. In a game of chess only one winner remains. Each player has a fifty-fifty shot of being the winner. Vice versa, each player has a fifty-fifty shot of being defeated. By making defeat real, Gibran shows the reader how everyone has been defeated at some point or another. Every person has been defeated and that’s why every person grows.

Gibran titled the poem “Defeat” for a reason. Every human has been defeated, some are every day. Without losing there would be no will, no want, no passion. A person must have the will to grow. Most view defeat as an enemy but Gibran’s poem teaches the reader to view it as a companion. A friend helps a man develop. Defeat is a friend. Gibran uses personification, repetition diction, pathos, and imagery to show how defeats helps a man grow.

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5 Comments

5 Responses to “Grow From Defeat”

  1. McKayla Thompson on April 7th, 2018 5:28 pm

    Great article! I loved your tone throughout this article. I know a lot of people who can’t stand back up after being defeated and sometimes it is hard for me too. Good writing!

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  2. Westin Miller on April 11th, 2018 11:45 pm

    Great article Delanie! I agree with you on how defeat is used for growth. The last paragraph of your article stuck out to me because defeat is what drives people to better themselves. Without it, people think they’ll being doing everything correct, but in reality, they are putting themselves in a deep hole. I also saw Gibran teaching the readers how defeat helps develop them into a better individual.

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  3. Kelsey Wise on April 12th, 2018 8:22 am

    I really love your article and how you mentioned that the word defeat is misled and that just because a team or anyone loses, that does not mean they were defeated. Defeat is misled and people take the word too harshly, and the word does sound bitter but defeat is not an option is what I got from your article.

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  4. Robin Asher on April 13th, 2018 11:31 am

    Oh, Delly Bean! Your journey from curvy back to healthy back is such an example to support this poem. You could have seen this as an opportunity to accept defeat, but you did the work and turned it into a success. Defeat can bring you to your knees or the ability to drive forward.
    And…did you know that Elvis read Gibran? That alone should be enough for everyone to want to read this poem.

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  5. Olivia Salyers on April 16th, 2018 8:32 am

    When I read this poem and wrote my explication, I had a very similar idea. Defeat is not always a bad thing and there are many times in our lives where we can learn from defeat. Like Jordan said, you have also gone through something that could be looked at as a defeat, but you’ve grown from that. Great article!

    [Reply]

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Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,
Grow From Defeat