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Eleanor Roosevelt Essay

4509 words - 18 pages

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt’s work has made a significant impact on the interpersonal domain. Her work touched the lives of millions of Americans and influenced many aspects of American politics. She was a master of her domain, interacting with millions and breaking down many barriers. Her work can be considered creative because it was so unconventional. She took on roles that were considered untraditional for women, and with an innovative approach. I admire her work as a leader, a woman, and a creative individual. Although I cannot imagine having as far reaching an impact as Eleanor Roosevelt, I hope to be strong in the interpersonal domain. As an organizational leadership major, the traits of the interpersonal domain would be strong assets for me in any career. On any level, I have a deep appreciation for her ability to help people and change lives. Eleanor Roosevelt is a master of the interpersonal domain because she could interact with anyone and she touched the lives of millions.

Childhood and Early Experiences

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born in New York City on October 11, 1884 (Youngs 26). Her parents were both from prominent families, part of the ‘Old New York and Hudson River’ aristocracy. Many of her ancestors had played significant roles in American history (Lash 6). Her mother, Anna Hall Roosevelt, had been a debutante, and was considered one of the most beautiful women of her time. Eleanor’s father, Elliot, was a sportsman, and a handsome man (Youngs 15). Eleanor was an intelligent and happy child, who was doted on by her parents. While she spent time with her parents, she was also close to her nurse, who played a large part in raising her. Eleanor’s first language was French, which she learned from her nurse (Youngs 30). Like many creators, she had a warm relationship with both her nurse and her parents.

When young Eleanor was eight years old, her life took a devastating twist. Her loving mother, Anna, died from diphtheria (Lash 5). Eleanor had been staying with her godmother during her mother’s illness. Young Eleanor acted completely unaffected by her mother’s death (Youngs 50). At that time, she was sent to live in New York City with her maternal grandmother and an aunt. She remained close to her father, but saw him only sporadically (Berger 1). Only two years later, when Eleanor was ten years old, her father died. Eleanor became withdrawn, and stopped interacting with classmates. It was believed that she was reacting to a fear of abandonment (Lash 5). Having lost the two most important people in her life, Eleanor began to push everyone away.

At the age of 15, Eleanor left New York City. She spent the next three years in London, at Allenswood Finishing School (Berger 1). Rather than withdrawing, as she had before, Eleanor thrived in the new environment. She returned to New York as a confident young woman, prepared to make her debut in society (Youngs 76). It...

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