This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

What It Is To Be A Hero In American Literature.

743 words - 3 pages

What exactly does it mean to be an American? This question has thousands of possible answers, all depending on the person. It is difficult to answer though, according to separate pieces of literature when one's own opinion might differ. However, according to many novels and plays, to be an American, especially an American Hero, is to work an entire lifetime to reach the American Dream, then fall just short, all the wasted tears and effort in vain. The fourth stage of the hero's journey is never reached. In the Scarlet Letter, the young woman has committed a sin and is forced to wear a scarlet A on her chest for the rest of her life as punishment. She has a child, and her lover remains a secret. Then her husband shows up and she and her lover are forced to keep quiet. Throughout a time period of 7 years, the child grows, her lover tortures himself, and she is ostracized. The only thing Hester Prynne wants is to run off with her child and her lover and be alone together, her dream. All this pain and hurt and frustration, yet at the end her lover commits suicide. She came so close to reaching the American Dream, and fell pathetically short. Jay Gatsby is the number one character in American Literature, and for a good reason. He never quits reaching for his dream. All he sees and all he does is to obtain Daisy, his American dream. Gatsby goes through five whole years of patient dreaming, buys a house, and persuades Daisy to leave with him. However, Daisy chooses not to leave, runs off with Tom, and Gatsby gets shot in the back in his pool. Again, so close, yet so far. Another example of an American hero would be Blanche DuBois from A Streetcar Named Desire. Even though Blanche lost her innocence an extremely long time ago, she is forever caught in the third stage: chaos. Even though she brings her own trouble upon herself, she is still an...

Find Another Essay On What it is to be a hero in American Literature.

American Romanticism: What does it mean to be a Citizen?

1043 words - 4 pages What does it mean to be a citizen? Prejudice has always been a problem in history. As depicted in 19th century literature, the Native Americans and slaves endured hardship acquiring human rights as well as citizenship. For example, Elias Boudinot's "An Address to the Whites", Douglass' "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?" and a children's ABC poem, "To Our Little Readers". In all of these pieces, it depicts how these particular races were

Russian Literature: A Hero Of Our Time by Lermontov

430 words - 2 pages reading A Hero Of Our Time, was that it could be viewed as a drama, with Pechorin as the stage manager. During The Fatalist it is not Pechorin who controls the scene and puts himself in center stage, rather it is Vulich. Pechorin is not use to being in the background and expresses this discomfort by describing Vulich as having some mysterious power over us. Another example is when Lermontov shows Pechorin's inability to control the story when he

Role and evolution of the hero in literature

1492 words - 6 pages " If Hero means sincere man, why may not everyone of us be a Hero?"(Carlyle, qtd. in Hoyt' s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations). This statementmakes heroism seem simple, but is being sincere enough to make you a hero? Inmodern society, the answer is likely to be yes, but in literature, it can becontroversial.A hero in literature is generally portrayed as a man of action rather thanthought. He exceeds ordinary men in skill, strength, and

The Underdog as the Hero in Popular Children's Literature

1389 words - 6 pages hero archetype, is growth; ‘a search for psychic wholeness and mature identity, and represents a universal struggle that we all experience. So it follows that every ordinary person has the capacity (in fiction as in life) to be a hero.’ (Boulter, 2007, p.49). It is this factor, that any of us has the capacity to be a hero, that holds the appeal of reading a novel. Stories, and in particular children’s novels, are about more than escapism. It

What is it like for Mary to be a bat?

1005 words - 5 pages The doctrine of physicalism is a widely discussed philosophical issue in which the mind-body problem is heavily explored. This controversial topic has left philosophers questioning the relationship between mind and matter, and more specifically, consciousness and the brain. There are a number of arguments supporting either side, but two that are rather compelling are Nagel’s What is it like to be a bat? and Jackson’s What Mary didn’t know. These

What It Is Like To Be A Wallflower

987 words - 4 pages by Gallery Books, is simply extraordinary. Stephen Chbosky is a screenwriter, director, and novelist. The Perks of Being a Wallflower has also been made into a major motion picture staring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson; Stephen Chbosky was the screenwriter and director for this movie as well. The Perks of Being a Wallflower will show the reader what it is like to be a wallflower. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a novel about a boy named

What is it mean to be a human

591 words - 2 pages humans and what is it means to be a human? When God creates a man it said that He creates him in his image. That tell us that man is God a like creature. God also creates a woman in image of man and there fore woman also is God a like creature. There fore in the rest of the paper I will use word man but it will include woman too. That what make man different from other creatures. In the Garden of Eden He says to them. "You may freely eat

What it is like to be a teenager

777 words - 3 pages What it is like to be a teenager. A teenager’s life is not as simple as many think. The changes each adolescent goes through are enormous. Many people believe the change is only physical, which is completely untrue. The greatest change teenager faces are those within his/her brain; another word, psychological. In the charts and graphs, it is evident that teenagers are constantly pressured by their surroundings, which explains the reason for

What It Means To Be An American

1393 words - 6 pages Throughout the life span of the United States, from its infancy after the Revolution to the present, people have asked, “What is an American?” This question goes far beyond asking who is a citizen or who resides in this land. No, it asks what the identity of an American is? Through popular, art, film, and literature, the American image is defined as being based on embracing our individual identities. Movies are a perfect way to express the

What does it mean to be American?

661 words - 3 pages successful or not. People have the freedom to do as they want to do, and say what they want to say. Therefore, being an American means you have "the quality or state of being free." As Andrew Jackson says, "Freedom is fragile and must be protected. To sacrifice it, even as a temporary measure is to betray it." Freedom is not something that should be taken for granted. For a person to be a true American, they also must have pride in their

What It Means To Be An American

361 words - 2 pages What It Means To Be An American Being an American to me, means that I am free to do what I want that is within the boundaries of our laws. It means that I may dress as I want, not as other people want me to. We can go to baseball games, enjoy a good movie in the sanctuary of our homes, or just spend some quality time with the family. It is because we have this freedom, that we must constantly be alert to maintain it. There are many "ups" and

Similar Essays

Antigone, A Tragic Hero In Literature

846 words - 3 pages Antigone A Tragic Hero In LiteratureIn the short ancient Greek play entitled, Antigone by Sophocles the reader is introduced to many basic themes and most significantly the prime example of a "tragic hero" in literature, which is exceptionally well incorporated into Sophocles' Antigone. Upon reading this play I personally perceived Antigone to produce all of the characteristics of a tragic hero.First off, it is very obvious that Antigone is a

What It Takes To Be A Hero

1204 words - 5 pages because they are famous. There is a big difference between a role model and a hero. It was expressed best in the article, What Makes A Hero? The Impact of Integrity on Admiration and Interpersonal Judgment, “Doing the right thing is a basis for acts of heroism and laudable accomplishment but often involves personal sacrifice. Doing the expedient thing is a basis for acts of self-indulgence and opportunism but often at a cost to others. ” (Schlenker

What Does It Take To Be A Hero

756 words - 3 pages Webster’s definition of a hero is, a person who is admired for great or brave acts ("Hero."). This is a basic definition because in actuality the definition of hero is more complex. A hero is someone who is selfless. In spite of the dangers or fears of what may happen, a hero will still do the right thing. A hero is someone who sees something that needs to be done and does it no matter the cost to themselves. In order for someone to be

What Does It Take To Be Considered A Hero?

830 words - 4 pages “A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom,” (brainyquote.com). What does it take to be considered a hero? Dictionary.reference.com describes a hero as, “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds or noble qualities.” This definition of hero does not complete itself. A hero must not only have courage and ability to perform a brave deed; he must also exude strength and