Abraham Lincoln: Characteristics Of A Hero

1149 words - 5 pages

Stories of heroes have been a source of inspiration and awe for as long as people could tell them. We look to legends of great men and women who have accomplished grand tasks in hopes that we, too, may one day be as tremendous as them. Indeed, most of us do; albeit not in the way we imagine. Most of them slip by us unnoticed, overlooked, and will never be the protagonists of epic stories. So what exactly makes a hero? I believe a hero to be anyone who possesses the qualities of a hero: courageous, perseverant and compassionate – all of which Abraham Lincoln perfectly demonstrates.
Abraham Lincoln was born in February 12, 1809, in a log cabin to a family of uneducated and poor pioneers (Denenberg and Bing). Throughout his life, Lincoln would be presented with many challenges, and will each time intrepidly tackle each challenge. Having no access to a formal education, Lincoln had to take his learning in his own hands, and owes his intellect and eloquence to the many books he read for leisure, with which he taught himself the law (Denenberg and Bing). He then entered the world of politics and, despite the many failures he suffered, achieved many great things – including obtaining presidency. As president, Lincoln would be fated to a battle for the freedom of slaves and the equality of African Americans. Though he will later learn to, Lincoln initially did not consider African Americans and White Americans equals; he did, however, acknowledged the moral injustice of slavery (Prutt). This opinion would not be met with the approval of many Americans. His outspokenness on the subject of slavery would ignite much animosity from the Southern states. Despite this, Lincoln was not afraid to enforce his beliefs when he signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared the freedom of all slaves in the rebelling states (“Abraham Lincoln”). These actions will kindle both the admiration and animosity of his people, the latter being the cause of his tragic and unfortunate death (“Abraham Lincoln”). Albeit I do not consider his courageousness to be Abraham Lincoln’s most notable quality, it is a vital aspect of what makes a hero.
As expected from one born to a peasant family of pioneers, Abraham Lincoln’s climb to success was a strenuous one. Many times did he take on new challenges, and many times he was defeated. However, this did not dishearten the indefatigable Lincoln, who never let a misstep impeded him from treading further. In 1831, he started a business that ultimately failed (Fehrenbacher). This will be the first of many failures in Lincoln’s life. Lincoln ran for legislature in 1932, but was defeated (Fehrenbacher). The next year he opened another business that once again failed (Fehrenbacher). In 1835, Ann Ruthledge, a dear friend of Lincoln’s, died (Fehrenbacher). Albeit no real proof of a romantic connection between her and Lincoln exists, her death had a large impact in Lincoln. The following year, Lincoln had a nervous breakdown, and in...

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