Is Grant A Hero? Essay

945 words - 4 pages

If you watch modern movies you will find that these times it is quite easier to be a hero than it was fifty years ago. The world gives us multiple opportunities to proves ourselves and give us the self-satisfaction of being able to say you are a hero. But what is a hero? Grant says, “A hero is someone who does something for other people. He does something that other men don’t and can’t do. He is different from other men. He is above other men. No matter who those other men are, the hero, no matter who he is, is above them.” (193) Obviously Grant matches his own description of a hero. He proved himself a hero by counseling Jefferson while being a teacher with “more than enough” problems of his own.

“It doesn’t matter anymore. Just do the best you can. But it won’t matter.” (Antoine, 66) Grant’s former teacher, Matthew Antoine, has been bittered up by the whites and has no hope for African Americans. He has opened his eyes to the obvious and believes African Americans are stuck below the whites and have been born to work like mules and live like dogs. Antoine says, “Forget it. Just go on and be the nigger you were born to be, but forget about life.” (65) He was a realist, and a noncomformist; the world needed someone like Grant, someone who would stand up for his or her race, fight for equality, and break Antoine’s belief of the colored men’s doom. Which is what Grant did. He stood up for his class and became a teacher to make a difference in any possible way.

The time period Grant lived in took the word “easy” out of Grant’s task to do something nobody else would do. “I’m the teacher ... and I teach what the white folks around here tell me to teach—reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. They never told me how to keep a black boy out of a liquor store.” (Grant, 13) Grant’s life is already filled with problems any African American would have; yet he fights for his own race by educating the future generation. He seems to be annoyed of the fact that he has to follow around the white folk’s directions even in the way he does his job. He intends to complain about Tante Lou insisting on making Grant teach Jefferson some self-respect even when Grant has to deal with the white folks, but why was Jefferson in a liquor store in the first place? He asks. “I tried to decide just how I should respond to them. Whether I should act like the teacher that I was, or like the nigger that I was supposed to be.” (Grant, 47) Grant really wants to help Jefferson, but he knows...

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