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Power of Resilience: A Comparative Study of Perseverance in Two Books

Grit & The Push

Literature possesses the remarkable ability to illuminate different aspects of the human experience. By exploring various themes, characters, and narratives, books offer unique perspectives that can inform, challenge, and inspire readers. In this comparative study, we will delve into two captivating works: “Grit” by Angela Duckworth and “The Push” by Ashley Audrain. Both books explore the notion of resilience in the face of adversity, but they take divergent paths in their portrayal of this concept.

In “Grit,” Angela Duckworth investigates the power of passion and perseverance, arguing that these qualities are the key to achieving success. Through extensive research and compelling anecdotes, Duckworth presents a thought-provoking argument that challenges conventional wisdom about talent and achievement.

On the other hand, “The Push” by Ashley Audrain takes a darker approach by examining the limits of resilience. The novel delves into the complexities of motherhood and the impact of traumatic experiences on the human psyche. Audrain weaves a chilling narrative that prompts readers to question the very essence of resilience and its consequences on personal well-being.

By comparing these two books, we aim to delve deeper into the multifaceted nature of resilience and its implications for individuals navigating challenging circumstances. By analyzing the distinct perspectives presented in “Grit” and “The Push,” we hope to gain new insights into the human capacity to endure, adapt, and ultimately thrive.

Through exploration of the authors’ unique approaches, thematic elements, and character development, this comparative study aims to shed light on the contrasting yet interconnected ways in which literature can depict the concept of resilience. Ultimately, we seek to understand how these narratives resonate with readers, offering different lenses through which to perceive the triumphs and struggles of the human spirit.

Summary of Two Books


“Grit” by Angela Duckworth explores the concept of grit and its role in achieving long-term success. Duckworth, a psychologist and researcher, argues that talent and intelligence alone are not the sole predictors of success but rather it is the combination of passion and perseverance over time that leads to excellence.

The book begins by defining grit as the ability to sustain effort over an extended period in pursuit of a long-term goal. Duckworth shares her own experiences and research findings to demonstrate how grit can be developed and cultivated.

Duckworth emphasizes the importance of having a passion, a deep interest or sense of purpose in a specific area, as the foundation of grit. She explains that finding something meaningful to devote oneself to is crucial for maintaining motivation during challenging times.

Furthermore, Duckworth highlights the significance of perseverance, the ability to persist through setbacks and failures. She delves into the mindset necessary to overcome obstacles, emphasizing the idea of embracing failure as an opportunity for growth rather than a reason for giving up.

Throughout the book, Duckworth provides numerous examples from different fields such as sports, business, and education, showcasing individuals who exemplify grit and achieve exceptional results. She also discusses the impact of grit on personal relationships, parenting, and teaching, emphasizing the importance of fostering grit in others.

In the latter part of the book, Duckworth explores the neuroscience behind grit and its connection to other psychological traits such as self-control and optimism. She presents strategies and practical tips for developing grit and fostering it in others.

Overall, “Grit” presents a compelling argument that endurance, passion, and resilience are key factors in achieving long-term success. By blending scientific research, personal anecdotes, and practical advice, Duckworth offers readers valuable insights into how they can cultivate grit in their own lives and unlock their full potential.

the push

The Push

The Push is a psychological thriller written by Ashley Audrain. The story revolves around the complex relationship between a mother and her daughter. It explores themes of motherhood, identity, and the impact of generational trauma.

The protagonist, Blythe Connor, becomes a mother when she gives birth to her daughter, Violet. However, as time passes, Blythe begins to question her daughter’s behavior and wonders if there is something inherently wrong with Violet. She starts to witness disturbing incidents that make her suspect Violet may be intentionally causing harm to others.

Throughout the book, Blythe struggles with her own doubts and fears, feeling isolated and unsupported. She especially questions herself as a mother and worries about her ability to protect both Violet and herself. As Blythe digs deeper into her family’s history, she begins to uncover a pattern of maternal neglect and abuse spanning multiple generations.

As the suspense intensifies, Blythe must confront the truth about her own upbringing and the dark secrets hidden within her family. The book delves into the psychological impact of intergenerational trauma and how it can shape individuals’ lives.

The Push challenges the conventional expectations of motherhood and raises thought-provoking questions about nature versus nurture, as well as the long-lasting effects of childhood experiences. With its gripping narrative and exploration of deep-rooted psychological issues, The Push offers readers an unsettling yet compelling journey into the complexities of mother-daughter relationships and the lasting impact of familial history.

Comparison Between Two Books

Similarities about Perseverance

Both “Grit” and “The Push” explore the theme of perseverance, emphasizing its importance in overcoming challenges and achieving success. Here are some similarities in how both books approach and discuss perseverance:

Mental strength and determination:

Both books highlight the significance of mental resilience and a never-give-up attitude. They emphasize that perseverance is not just about physical endurance but also about developing a strong mindset to push through adversity.

Long-term commitment:

Both books stress the idea that perseverance requires long-term dedication towards a goal. Angela Duckworth’s “Grit” underscores the concept of deliberate practice and consistent effort over time, while Tommy Caldwell’s “The Push” emphasizes his relentless pursuit of climbing difficult routes that took years to accomplish.

Learning from failure:

Both authors acknowledge that setbacks and failures are an integral part of the journey toward success. They encourage readers to embrace failure as an opportunity for growth and learning, rather than viewing it as a reason to give up.

Passion and purpose:

Both books emphasize the importance of having a clear passion or purpose that fuels one’s perseverance. Whether it’s Angela Duckworth discussing how passion drives grit or Tommy Caldwell’s unyielding love for climbing, both authors believe that a strong sense of purpose is crucial for sustained perseverance.

Support systems and mentors:

Both authors recognize the value of support systems and mentors in fostering perseverance. Angela Duckworth mentions the significance of having supportive families, teachers, or mentors who can guide individuals on their journey. Similarly, Tommy Caldwell narrates his experiences with mentors who helped him refine his skills, cope with challenges, and maintain focus.

Resilience in the face of adversity:

Both books address the need to develop resilience when faced with obstacles. They advocate for finding ways to bounce back from setbacks, maintain a positive mindset, and adapt to changing circumstances while staying committed to one’s goals.

The growth mindset:

Both authors promote the concept of a growth mindset, which involves believing in one’s ability to improve and develop skills through effort and practice. This mindset encourages individuals to persevere despite difficulties, viewing challenges as opportunities for personal growth.

In summary, “Grit” by Angela Duckworth and “The Push” by Tommy Caldwell share several similarities in their portrayal of perseverance. Both books emphasize mental strength, long-term commitment, learning from failure, passion and purpose, support systems, resilience, and the growth mindset as essential components of perseverance.

Divergence in Perseverance

the grit

While both books, “Grit” by Angela Duckworth and “The Push” by Tommy Caldwell, explore the concept of perseverance, they approach it from different perspectives and highlight distinct aspects of this quality.

Definition and conceptualization of perseverance:

In “Grit,” Angela Duckworth defines grit as the combination of passion and perseverance towards long-term goals. She emphasizes the importance of sustained effort and resilience in achieving success. On the other hand, “The Push” focuses on perseverance in extreme circumstances, particularly in the realm of rock climbing. Tommy Caldwell narrates his personal journey as a climber, facing daunting challenges and displaying extraordinary determination to overcome physical and mental obstacles.

Contextual differences:

“Grit” is more broadly applicable to various domains of life, including education, career, and personal development. Duckworth presents research findings from diverse fields to support her argument that grit is a significant predictor of success. In contrast, “The Push” revolves specifically around Caldwell’s experiences in the world of professional rock climbing. It delves into the unique demands of this sport and the relentless pursuit of conquering difficult climbs against all odds.

Focus on mindset and motivation:

“Grit” delves deeply into the psychology behind perseverance, exploring the growth mindset, intrinsic motivation, and deliberate practice. Duckworth emphasizes the role of passion and the ability to maintain interest and enthusiasm even during challenging times. In “The Push,” Caldwell highlights the importance of motivation and dedication in the face of physical adversity. He describes how climbers push their limits, adapt to setbacks, and channel their passion for climbing to persevere through extremely demanding situations.

Examples and anecdotes:

“Grit” draws extensively from various individuals’ stories across different fields to exemplify the power of perseverance. Duckworth presents anecdotes of successful athletes, entrepreneurs, and professionals who demonstrate grit in pursuing their goals.Conversely, “The Push” focuses primarily on Tommy Caldwell’s personal experiences, recounting his struggles with physical injuries and immense personal challenges while attempting groundbreaking climbs. The book provides detailed narratives of specific climbing expeditions and obstacles encountered along the way.

It is important to note that while both books discuss perseverance, they approach the topic differently due to their unique perspectives and contexts. While “Grit” offers a broader understanding of perseverance and its application across various domains, “The Push” delves deeply into the extreme determination required in the world of professional rock climbing.


Both “Grit” and “The Push” have their own merits and offer different perspectives, so the choice ultimately depends on your personal preferences and interests. Here’s a breakdown of each book to help you make an informed decision:

“Grit” by Angela Duckworth:

Focuses on the concept of grit and its power in achieving long-term success.

Explores the idea that talent alone is not enough, and that resilience, passion, and perseverance are key factors in achieving goals.

Backed by extensive research and psychological studies, providing a scientific basis for understanding grit.

Offers practical advice and strategies to develop and nurture resilience and determination.

“The Push” by Tommy Caldwell:

Chronicles the life of Tommy Caldwell, a renowned rock climber, and his relentless pursuit of climbing the Dawn Wall in Yosemite National Park.

Provides a firsthand account of Caldwell’s personal journey, including his triumphs, struggles, and the mental and physical challenges he faced along the way.

Explores themes of perseverance, determination, and overcoming obstacles in pursuit of a dream.

Offers insights into the world of professional climbing and the mindset required to push oneself beyond perceived limitations.

If you enjoy psychology and scientific explanations for human behavior, “Grit” might be the more suitable choice. On the other hand, if you prefer real-life stories of extraordinary achievements and exploration of the human spirit, “The Push” could be the book for you. Ultimately, consider your interests and what you hope to gain from reading one of these books to determine which aligns better with your preferences.

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