“The Pact” by Jodi Picoult Essay

July 16, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: Sep 10th, 2019


Authored by Jodi Picoult, The Pact is a must-read fascinating chef-d’oeuvre giving an account of three friends: Sampson Davis, George Jenkins and Rameck Hunt who met at Magnet high school where they were learning in their home town of Newark. The three make their pact while in the high school concerning how they can find a way to a medical school to pursue their career in medicine. The masterwork provides an inspirational account of young high school children who face challenges in life as they grow up.

The three narrate their episodes as they grew ranging from how they overcame challenges of crimes, drugs, and poverty to attain their success by taking their educational route to a better life (Baily 13). They have now become role models in their residences by inspiring kids to abscond engaging in drugs and joining criminal gangs but rather pursuing their education for a bright future. However, Sam seems to doubt his ability to succeed.

Sam’s Doubts

Sam has various doubts on his ability to succeed because of the minimal hopes in terms of financial availability to enable him attend the medical college (Goldsmith 147). He does not have a glimpse of where the finances to cater for his school fees will come from. This therefore makes him doubt whether his dream will ever become a reality.

Furthermore, the negative perception accorded to the black Americans diminishes his self-confidence of achieving his dream of becoming a practitioner. The surroundings also contribute to his self-doubt as he looks down upon himself and therefore cannot see him to succeed in his study of medicine. On the other hand, Rameck repeatedly makes choices that are not in his best interest despite his getting into college.

Why the Choices

Rameck makes choices that do not conform to his own interests because of the circumstances that surround him. Although he seems clever and witty, he seems cloned with many problems emanating from his family background and the surroundings. Further, he seems affected by the environment from which he comes.

For instance, he even passes for jail because of associating himself with drugs and criminal acts (Jones 50). Therefore, the episodes he passes through forms a basis of the decisions he makes. He makes decisions because of his current situations despite having different interests. On the contrary, George encounters fewer distractions in relation to Sam and Rameck.

Why the Fewer Distractions

George has fewer distractions while in college compared to Sam and Rameck because he, in spite of coming from a neighborhood flourished with drugs and crimes, distances himself from such instances. He is not able to fall culprit to such groups, which seem all able to deter him from his career path during his youth.

He also has a vision as opposed to the other two to which he sets his eyes fixed such that he cannot realize any barrier while in the college. At eleven years, he has already developed an interest of pursuing medicine to become a dentist. This vision keeps him focused while pursuing the dream of his life as opposed to Sam and Rameck who do not have a vision at that tender age. This also contributes to his encounter of few distractions in his life as Pumphrey and Burns put it (98).

Furthermore, George seems always occupied and determined to accomplish his dream, as he knows the programs that necessitate his joining of college and therefore utilizes most of his time seeking for assistance to ensure his entry into a medical school. Therefore, his evident busy and determined mind while in college cannot accommodate any distraction hence conforming to the adage ‘determination knows no barrier’. The book is heavy-laden with moral lessons.

Lessons from the Book

By reading The Pact, I have learned various lessons amongst them being the need to have goals to which one has to work towards attaining. There may be obstacles in life but by having a goal and working hard, one is able to achieve the objectives. The obstacles are no more than what one sees once he/she sets his/her eyes off the goal.

The claim stands out from the way the three doctors manages to overcome their challenges. Despite their coming form poor families, facing dangers of drug use and criminal activity to mention but a few, the three manages to overcome them successfully forging towards the attainment of their goals in life of becoming physicians.

Further, I have learned that everybody has a potential of achieving his/her dreams in life regardless his/her skin color or background provided he gets the opportunity. People have experienced restrictions or rather obstructions from attaining their goals due to the stigma that seems placed to them by the society (Johnson 9) in various cases.

This should not be the case. Instead, the society should be able to embrace the talents of everyone in its pursuit of assisting him/her to realize his/her dreams. For instance, despite the three boys facing some form of discrimination and racism from their colleagues, they manage to forge on and eventually realize their dreams.

I have further learned the importance of working as a group sharing ideas and visions with each other. This helps the group members develop one another, not only academically and socially but also psychologically and physically (Helem 9).

It also helps the members to give moral support to each other hence enhancing the attainments of their goals in life. These three doctors remain committed sharing their dreams, which eventually lead to the achievement of their dreams. Based on the expositions given about The Pact, it suffices to recommend it to others especially the high school students.

Why the Recommendations

I would recommend this book to other readers especially the young boys in high schools who are growing up (Bell-Russel 52). The book seems heavy-laden with an inspiring motivating message relevant to those kids that face various challenges in life feeling as not worthy in relation to their counterparts from wealthy backgrounds. Many youngsters at their adolescent stage remain prone to joining criminal gangs and even reverting to the use of drug and violent acts because of poverty and desperation (Dines 27).

Therefore, as illustrated by the three doctors whose backgrounds seem pathetic characterized by poverty, drugs and crimes, they too can manage to forge and attain their dreams: The three boys stand out as good role models. Hence, when the students read The Pact, they may be motivated feeling that they are not useless but rather worthy and all able to overcome obstacles that face them. Otherwise, the book is an informative piece of work.

Works Cited

Baily, Cate. The power of a promise. Scholastic Scope 52.13 (2004): 12-14.

Bell-Russel, Danna. The Pact. Library Journal 134.17 (2009): 52-52.

Dines, Kaylyn Kendall. Three Doctors from Newark offer hope to youth. New York Amsterdam News 95.4 (2004):27-27.

Goldsmith, Francisca. We Beat the Street: How a Friendship Pact Led to Success. School Library Journal 51.5 (2005):146-148.

Helem, Lisa. Sticking to a Promise. Newsweek 146.7 (2005): 9-19.

Johnson, Raelyn. Word is bond. Black Enterprise 33.11 (2003): 9.

Jones, Mondella. The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream. Black Issues Book Review 4.4 (2002): 50-50.

Pumphrey, Mark, and Burns, Ann. The Pact. Library Journal 127.20 (2002):198.

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