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Word Count: 310
In Haugaards The Good Earth Taro faces many obstacles He has a very traumatic life and even though so many things happen to him he never gives up his lifelong dream of becoming a samurai He is persistent optimistic loyal quick-witted courageous and humble to name a few Near the beginning mainly Taro has to deal with the loss of many of his friends and even a family member His mother was killed in front of his very eyes and his maidservant his friend Togan and his friend Yoshitoki are several of the people that are close to him that die in the book He has to overcome these misfortunes yet it seems almost impossible His father was already dead and to have to deal with the loss of his mother and many of his friends seems insufferable The main thing that keeps his mind on track is his ability to accept reality On page 23 after the death of Togan Taro writes Death will always be part of life it is as natural as the seasons Though he accepts the deaths of these people he also uses his optimism and hopefulness to overcome these tragedies Another major obstacle that Taro has to overcome in the book is his desire to become a samurai He has an ambition and with his persistence humbleness and loyalty he is able to keep that ambition alive and eventually become a samurai He says The years had not lessened my desire to be numbered among the samurai and to me the saddle symbolized that rank and gave me renewed hope of attaining it p41 Though Taro uses humbleness to overcome this obstacle he also uses it to defeat Jiro in their fight He is not accusatory toward Jiro and he tries to fight him without actually having to hit him or hurt him
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