April 20, 2011
The Power of Love
When the life of a loved one is at risk, an individual will go to extreme measures to keep them remembered. Juliet from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet puts her heart and soul into her relationship, resulting in her death. Nancy Brinker did everything she could, and dedicated her life to making her sister’s story known. Although their experience of loss is quite different, there are ways in which both of these characters can directly connect their feelings and actions. Juliet of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Nancy Brinker experience great yet different losses in their lives, and devote themselves entirely to honor and cherish those persons.
Juliet of the Capulet house is the daughter of the rich and dignified Lord Capulet and Lady Capulet. It is shown through the entire play that she is a very sensible and determined young girl. For as long as she can remember, there has been a feud between the Capulet and the Montague’s. When the handsome Romeo suddenly enthralls her, she is unaware that he is a member of the feuding family. To her surprise, this simple fact does not alter her feelings, and she becomes determined to commit herself to this love, and no other.
Juliet’s passion and practicality begins to show when she decides to do whatever it takes to be with her love, Romeo (Rankin, 22). She decides to secretly marry him, therefore revealing her sense of independence. Along with determination, there are other traits that are developed throughout the story. She becomes rebellious and “gives herself wholeheartedly to their love,” (Rakin, 20) until there is nothing left of her. It is because of this passion, that she is so profoundly affected by Romeo’s death. In honor of his loss, she ends her life, knowing that their love will be remembered forever.
Nancy Brinker, daughter of Marvin L. Goodman and Eleanor Newman, has always been an extremely determined woman. Growing up, her and her sister Susan, although they were polar opposites, were always close. Susan was the more beautiful, kind and loving sister, while Nancy was the troublemaker and more of a tomboy. When Nancy reached college, it was the first time she felt as though she belonged. As stated in her biography, Nancy says, “I felt independent and responsible and ready to take on the world” (Brinker). It is at this time in her life when her determination begins to surface. She graduated college and moved to Texas, where she would receive the phone call that would change her life forever.
It was one Tuesday afternoon, when Nancy received a phone call from her sister that her doctor had discovered a lump on her breast. Nancy immediately flew home to be at her sister’s side. This experience began to bring out the compassionate and empathetic side of her, along with strengthening her determination. She began to dedicate herself completely to helping her sister, but was unaware of the many possibilities for dealing with breast cancer. She did not know there was so many options, “None of us knew enough to inquire about seeking information from a major cancer center” (Brinker). For the next three years, Suzy fought a constant battle consisting of nine surgeries, and three courses of chemotherapy and radiation. When her life ended, Nancy realized she had made a promise to her sister. “She would dedicate the rest of her life to eradicating breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by advancing research, education, screening, and treatment” (The Power of Purpose Awards – A Worldwide Essay Competition). She began her research, creating the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. As stated in her story about her young sister, “I wanted to do something to let her know how special she would always be in my heart” (Brinker). With this, Nancy Brinker has made sure women are aware of their disease, and that the story of Susan G. Komen is never forgotten.
There are many similarities between Juliet and