Novels About Perseverance

These novels have determined characters who refuse to give up.

Perseverance in Literature

Moll Flanders | Daniel Defoe

Moll is born in a London prison and is raised first by gypsies and then a woman who trains orphans for a life of service. Moll is determined not to be a servant; she wants to make money and rise in the world. She is drawn to men who can offer her money, and she schemes to marry them. She also steals to support herself.

Read “Moll Flanders”

The Crazy Horse Electric Game | Chris Crutcher

Willie Weaver is the star pitcher on his local baseball team, and the championship game is approaching. He feels the pressure from the city and his father’s legacy as a former football star. The game is a big success, and Willie feels great for the summer. One day, while water skiing, Willie has an accident.

The War of the Worlds | H. G. Wells

A Martian ship lands on earth, creating a crater, and there is a noise inside. A crowd gathers around and then scatters when a hatch opens. Martians emerge but seem unable to climb up the crater walls. The humans wave a white flag, but the Martians fire a Heat-Ray.

Read “The War of the Worlds”

The Old Man and the Sea | Ernest Hemingway

Santiago is an elderly Cuban fisherman who is on a streak of bad luck–he hasn’t caught a sellable fish in eighty-four days. His friend and assistant, Manolin, has left him for another boat at the behest of his parents, but he still visits to talk and eat. Santiago’s luck changes when he hooks a huge marlin, leading to the struggle of his life.

“But man is not made for defeat,” he said. “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”

Read “The Old Man and the Sea”


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