“There’s explains how hard it was to watch them,

“There’s no harm in hoping for the best, as long as you’re prepared for the worst.”  This quote by Stephen King conveys that good opportunities may come, but you have to be ready for anything, not just the bad but the good too.  Leon Leyson’s’ Amazing memoir, “The Boy on the Wooden Box,” takes place in Poland-a country east of Germany.  Leon, a young boy at the time, has the challenge if surviving the Holocaust, a brutal time where Jews were sentenced to death in one of many ways.  Leon has learned some very influential lessons, one of the vastest times being that when your life’s at stake, an absence of perseverance won’t do anything to help you survive.  Above all the rest of the story, you can easily tell that Leon still has deep grief about the loss of his family, even in the afterlife of the holocaust.  Especially during the times when his family died, he probably felt the most pain, but the only way that he could keep going with his life-and not die-would be to persevere.  One of the largest losses, by far that Leon had experienced was that he hated seeing his father get beaten before his eyes, and then taken away with the fear of never seeing him again.  Leon even explains how hard it was to watch them, “They beat him with their bare fists, slammed him to the floor, and choked him.  I was sickened by their ruthlessness.  I wanted to run away so I didn’t have to watch, but I felt like my feet were rooted in concrete.”(Leyson pg.56) For this reason, you can easily see that it was very difficult seeing his father getting beaten. Leon explained that he couldn’t move and that he was afflicted by how much they had hurt him. Eventually, you will be able to tell that there is an unusual amount of irony included throughout the storyline.  Throughout the course of the book, the family included different sayings.  The first being “It will soon be over,”(Leyson pg.70) and the second being “If this is the worst that happens.” (Leyson pg.79) The irony is that one thing led to the next, not getting any better but getting worse and worse.  Indeed, if the families weren’t able to persevere through this, then they probably would have just given up, but they didn’t.  One of the first very unfortunate events that had occurred was Leon’s father getting beaten and arrested in front of his eyes(2nd paragraph has the quote), then the family get sent into the ghetto, “once inside the ghetto, we made our way to our new home, a building at Lwowska 18.  We carried our few belongings up the stairs to the one-room apartment awaiting us.”(Leyson pg.78) As you can see, 2 very bad events just happened right in a row.  To emphasize, very soon after the tragedy of getting sent to the ghetto, the family had sadly lost their son, Taslig.  “But it was too late.  I felt my blood turning to ice when I realized they were going to take my brother.  In a split second the soldiers pounced on him.” (Leyson pg.95) As you can see, through these quotes(which are in order of the storyline) Leon experienced a whole lot of irony throughout the story, even if he didn’t realize it at the time.  It seems like every time they had said one of their sayings, another bad thing would happen, even though that is what they were hoping for not to happen.  If their family wasn’t able to persevere through this, then they probably would have just given up, but they didn’t.   Lastly, Leon’s family had to persevere through their worst nightmare, their scariest adventure, their most deadly encounters-Plazów and Kraków.  Most of the story takes place here, and this is where the worst of Leon’s holocaust experience begun.  The treacherous adventures that arose here include, multiple beatings, terrible weather and food, separation of family, and the most unfavorable of them all, the fear of dying by just having your name crossed off of a list.”It was a miracle that nobody stopped me as I walked across the camp toward the gate where those who were going to the sub-camp had assembled. I moved closer, telling myself I had to act.  I couldn’t let this last opportunity disappear.  I had no future in Plazów.  I might as well die attempting to be with my mother.” (Leyson pg.129)Through this quote, you can see that Leon didn’t care what was going to happen, he believed that he would die anyway because he was going to be stuck in Plazów the rest of his life.  Leon needed to persevere, which he was willing to do if he didn’t get caught.  Leon couldn’t have made it through Plazów or Kraków without perseverance, he thought that he was going to give up if tricking the guard didn’t work.  Who knows if Leon Leyson would have survived if he gave up 1 minute before.  Yes, he was about to give up, but he made it through beatings, weather, food, loss of family, and now this.  Leon persevered. Leon is very good at persevering and possesses a lot of bravery too.  Certainly, it could be said that Leon portrayed more bravery than perseverance. While this is a good point because Leon is very brave in certain parts of the book, but I think that he portrays more perseverance throughout the entire book.  Leon is very brave through different parts, such as the part when he walks right across the field of Nazi’s, just to say goodbye to his mother.  Although this is a very brave act, it is one of the few that occurred throughout the entirety of the book.  Leon persevered through so much more, family problems, beatings, concentration camps, and the holocaust.  Leon wasn’t brave through the holocaust, or brave through beatings, or brave through loss of family.  He was hurting, and he was able to overcome that fear, which is exactly what perseverance is.  Leon Leyson was able to persevere through all the tough times and make it through the holocaust.  Leon persevered for 12 years straight and had changed his life during it.  He had made it through the losses, the irony, Plazów, Kraków, beatings, bad food, bad weather, and past the Nazi’s, and had somehow survived the extremely brutal conditions of the Holocaust.  By doing this,  Leon can now accomplish anything, survival, loss, surprises, sadness, and even happiness.  Leon was very good at persevering, and being a survivor of the holocaust, and learning how to persevere greatly impacted his entire life.  Leon Leyson had learned that when your life’s at stake, an absence of perseverance won’t do anything to help you survive.