For me, the event that made Marie Curie truly inspiring and courageous was continuing her research, even after her husband died and she, a poor newly made widow, was left alone to continue raising her daughters. Marie had always been poor, and this seemed to do nothing but inspire her to work hard and succeed. She discovered two elements and worked to find out more about radium, a daunting task. However, the death of Pierre influenced Curie even more. That happening required her to stay resilient for her daughters, even when Marie felt like falling apart. It also meant that any future work, or challenges, concerning radium, she would have to face alone, feeling that she was nothing without Pierre, her missing part. Yet Curie showed true courage when she continued her experiments to defend radium from a critic. To me, that is truly inspiring. Next, an excerpt from Marie’s Diary, “On the Sunday after your death, Pierre, I went to the laboratory with Jacques for the first time. I tried to make a measurement, for a graph on which we each had made several points. But I felt the impossibility of going on.” shows how she felt about continuing work. The fact that she went on to achieve further greatness motivates me greatly. Also, in the book Something Out of Nothing, Marie Curie and Radium, by Carla Killough McClafferty, there is a passage that shows how the public felt about Marie as she continued to make her way in the world. “The public had been interested in Marie before. But now that she was a widow with two small children to support while making her way in a scientific field of men, many were inspired by her.” Not only does that quote show how Curie inspired others, I feel that it perfectly summed just what made her courageous and leaves the reader knowing to what scale her determination extended. While sad, the death of Pierre Curie helped make Marie Curie into the stimulating and daring women she is for me today.
So what did Marie Curie change? She opened the door for women scientists. Curie defined a true scientist, wife, mother, and person. Many events throughout Marie’s life showed true courage. It is her life that has become an inspiration, a role model, for people all over the globe. The name “Marie Curie” will always spark a passionate feeling in me, and a desire to make difference. Now, you too, no matter what obstacles you face, can discover an element, make a difference, or become a courageous inspiration.