Analysis

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Last Updated on September 24, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 252

Sotomayor provides this historical account to give readers insight into her past and its influence on her drive to succeed. The author reveals details regarding her humble background growing up as a child in the Bronx, and her honesty in revealing these details offers readers a chance to judge her true character.

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Sotomayor's story is ultimately an inspirational one: her life serves as an example—particularly for women from minority groups—of how one can pursue and achieve their dreams if they are resilient, determined, and hardworking. That said, Sotomayor is careful not to dismiss the disadvantages she had to confront, both personal and systemic (as a minority woman from a poor background). She was raised in the projects, went to a Catholic school that her mother struggled to afford, was diagnosed with diabetes at a young age, and had an alcoholic father who died when she was only nine years old.

Even as her academic success led her to elite schools like Princeton and Yale, Sotomayor struggled to fit in and find a place amongst her wealthy, privileged peers. She rose above the obstacles in her path through a combination of her own hard work and a strong support system. Sotomayor is frank, however, about how her professional life has impacted, sometimes negatively, her personal life. In particular, she reflects on how the fierce independence that led to her success in school— later work as a lawyer and judge—often strained her personal relationships, especially that with her mother and husband.

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