True Grit

True Grit: An Alternate Perspective 9th Grade

What is true grit? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines grit as “perseverance and passion for long term goals.” While the Merriam-Webster dictionary does provide an appreciable explanation of grit, no such definition exists for "true grit." True grit is far more challenging to place words upon; such a prowess is almost unheard of on this Earth. However, true grit takes human form in two pivotal characters in the book of the same name: Mattie Ross, our protagonist and Tom Chaney, our antagonist.

To begin, Mattie Ross perfectly embodies this quality. As the story commences, Mattie narrates her life story in first person and takes an extremely commanding tone on the audience. Mattie narrates, “People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father’s blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say that it did not happen every day” (Portis 11). As readers, we instantly recognize a fire that burns within Mattie, who as a 14-year-old girl travels alone to an unknown land merely for the idea of fighting for justice and to avenge the death of her late father. This fire that exists within Mattie burns even brighter and continues to ignite as the...

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