Perspective: Heartbreak Before Happiness

Apr 9, 2019

Hanna Wolf is one of Breja Fink's A.P. Language and Composition students at Beloit Memorial High School. They studied WNIJ's Perspectives, then wrote and recorded their own last semester. 

Throughout my life, whenever I picked up a book or watched a movie with even an ounce of woe, my mother would say, “Hanna, this is so gruesome. Try something happier.”  And to this day, I still cannot understand why she says that. 

I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, and I can honestly say that none of my favorite books end with a happily ever after. Great stories need something that sets them apart, something that gives them depth and emotion. They need love and death and decay, otherwise they are just, well, boring.  

Great characters are built from things that go wrong. Superheroes arise from tragedy, warriors and heroines are formed from calamity. Even villains, those whose past is grey, whose lines are so blurred that at the end of the book we are left wondering how we could ever sympathize with a villain. These are the characters that we love the most.

So even though we all want a happy ending, we are people who crave something to relate to. Some bit of pain or sorrow that can take us away from our own. Every great thing, every great story, every great character needs to fall apart before being able to truly rise. 

So I say bring the pain and heartbreak and sorrow, because after all, that is what a great story is built on. 

I am Hanna Wolf and this is my perspective.