An Epitome of Courage Lesson Summary in English


This story is a beautiful representation of courage and determination. The author hopes to inspire people to be determined and brave in life through the example of Dr. Stephen Hawking. 

The Story

The story starts with the author praising Stephen Hawking as an epitome of courage. The author says that people usually tend to hide behind our weaknesses, disabilities, handicaps…, but Stephen Hawking, undeniably, continued fighting. Stephen Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, exactly 300 years after the death of the great scientist Galileo. The author says that Hawking’s parents did not know that one day the little boy would be hailed as one of the greatest scientist of the century. Stephen Hawking, for the world, became an epidural of courage.

According to the author, courage is a wonderful thing. He said it’s a quality that makes people believe in themselves even when faced with great obstacles. Dr. Stephen Hawking, a living legend of cosmology, is true of courage for generations to come. However, his fate took quite a wrong turn in his life. Stephen Hawking‘s whole body was bound to a wheelchair. Growing up, Hawking lived life like a normal teenager, full of mischief and lots of love for music and mathematics.

Despite his father’s wishes for him to study medicine,  he was determined to study mathematics and went on to study physics at Oxford University. At the age of 17, Stephen noticed that he was becoming increasingly clumsy and even fell down a couple of times. He was confused and went to see his family doctor, who diagnosed him as suffering from an extremely rare disease- ALS or LOU Gehrig‘s disease that affects the nervous system and eventually weakens all the muscles in the body.

What was ironic for Stephen Hawking was to get such a rare disease as a recollects that his handwriting would send his teacher into a fit of frenzy and also the fact that he was never inclined towards sports. The doctors were not sure of how many years he had left on this planet as the prognosis was bad. Hawking decided to not give up but continue with his research. He even got engaged to Jane Wilde. Hocking admitted that it was at this dismal stage, he began enjoying life the most.

This disease did not leave him shackled at all but he continued his research with renewed vigor. The disease worked its way into Stephan’s body and left him disabled so much so that he was rapidly losing control of his hands and speech. However, his daunting spirit made him study black holes, which created a never seen before idea. Hawking made many epoch making statements that shook established theories. He even invented what is known as “Lie Algebra” to explain his concept better.

Hawking did not lead an easy life. He was confined to wheelchair with no control over his body save a finger and the computer to help him express his thoughts. Despite all the hardships, Hawking remained brave and continued with his work. Numerous honorary doctorates and awards have been bestowed upon him. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences.

Hawking is considered Einstein‘s equal but he’s a very humble man. His writings are full of wit and humor and explain theories in such a lucid manner that even non-scientists can understand his theories. His best-selling book A Brief History of Time is considered a masterpiece. 

Hawking was once asked how he felt about his dreadful disease and he replied, “Not very different from the rest. I try and lead as normal a life as possible and not think about my condition or regret the things it prevents me from doing, which are not many.” Hawking believes that in the next millennium science will uncover the truth regarding the universe and its origin and even predict its ultimate demise.

The author ends by saying that just like Dr. Hawking there many people in the world who might be fighting against many calamities but display exemplary courage in their lives. He says that the need for people to get inspired is important in life and salute such brave people, trying to do their best.          


Through this story, the author has tried to convey how brave and courageous people fight against all odds, to emerge victoriously. He takes the example of Stephen Hawking, an exceptional brilliant scientist, who fought against the life-threatening disease and ended up being a name worth remembering. Through the story, the author urges people to be brave and fight on, till the goal has been attained.