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The Power of Positive Thinking

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    There are many admirable characters in books. Each of them have unique qualities to them. I have lots of favorites, but my favorite is Aven from the novel Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus. Although born armless, Aven is funny, capable, and undaunted in the face of adversity. She always has a positive attitude and is not ever found moping about how miserable her life is. Aven is a great example of how one can persevere through difficult circumstances with a great sense of humor.

    To begin, Aven faces many difficulties. In the story, she moves from Kansas to an old, rundown theme park that her parents will run called Stagecoach Pass in Arizona. At her old school, everyone knew her and was comfortable with her armlessness, but this is not the case here. Still, she does not let this bother her and soon makes two new friends: Connor, who has Tourette’s, and Zion, who thinks he is fat. Though the trio is sometimes teased, Aven does not let this affect her. Even when she is really frustrated, such the time it took her an hour to get in her bathing suit, as she recalls, she never gives up.

    When Aven was adopted at age two, her parents said all she would do was sit sluggishly, waiting for someone to pamper her. Nevertheless, they taught her how to be a problem-solver and to never give up. Now, Aven is very capable, so much that she can do almost everything ordinary people can do, from getting on her clothes to even playing the guitar. She is able to do all this using her feet. I admire Aven’s capability. She has no arms, a pretty crucial part in people’s lives, and yet, she can still manage to do so much.

    Another thing that I admire about Aven that she never “plays the victim”. Instead, she has an incredible sense of humor. Aven is not afraid to laugh at herself sometimes. In the beginning, she says, “I got so tired of telling them the same boring story about being born without arms that I started making stuff up. It was stinking hilarious.” Aven also loves playing pranks. She talks about once at her previous school the day a substitute came, she put mannequin arms up her sleeves and a friend pretended to yank her arms out. Another time she and Connor stole some steaks from the Stagecoach Pass kitchen, attached them to her shoulders and pretended her arms were shot off in the gunfight show. To sum up, Aven is always humorous and is never sad or gloomy.

    As already stated, Aven is able, funny, and undauntable in various ways. Having no arms does not stop her from doing anything. She is a great character to look up to and I look up to her good humor, remarkable perseverance and her capability. Even without a disablement, everyone faces difficulties and I hope I can handle them like Aven – brave, bold and hilarious at the same time. To conclude, important qualities are what make a character special or significant and Aven definitely is one of them.

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    The Power of Positive Thinking. (2022, May 14). Retrieved from

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