The Athenian victory in the Battle of Marathon, illustrated by Plutarch in the Life of Themistocles, shows similarity to modern themes on underdogs, like that in the movie Forrest Gump and the book “The Help”. In this paper, I will argue that these ideas are similar because of the common theme represented in many movies, TV shows, and books. Humans tend to root for the underdogs even if they don’t believe the underdogs will succeed.
The Battle of Marathon was fought by the Athenians and the Persians. At the time, the Persian were one of the biggest empires of the known world, and because of this the Athenians were not expecting a victory. The Athenians had fewer men than the Persians, and they had almost no help from surrounding city-states. This battle proved to the Athenians that they were as equally great as the Persians, and that the Persians could be beaten (Hanson).
The Athenians were essentially the ‘underdogs’ and that is a common theme used in many books, TV, sports, and movies. The underdogs are the least likely people to ever be victorious, and yet the Athenians were. A common example is the movie Forrest Gump. Forrest Gump is a child who is a slower learner than most and has to wear braces on his legs. Nobody would expect a child with multiple handicaps to achieve and overcome the things he did, but he was able to in the end. The same goes for the Athenians, nobody expected them to be able to defeat a nation who had conquered so many other nations before, and yet they were able to.
Another representation of the underdog theme is evident in the book “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. Many of the characters in this book are underdogs, not just the black house maids. The character Skeeter Phelan is a white women in the 1970s who struggles to find a job because of her gender. Aibileen Clack is an African American maid who takes care of other people’s children, and is seen as a disease because of her skin color. Minny...