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Defining Heroism Through Literature

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Defining Heroism through Literature

According to Bob Riley,” Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the ‘hero’ within us is revealed. What Riley means in this quote is the heroism is working hard not only to benefit oneself, but to benefit others and the future of others. Also, it means that heroism is an ordinary person, that just work hard to overcome obstacles. The definition of heroism is someone how has an impact on society, preservers/not giving up, defying negative opposition.

One essential factor of heroism is someone how has an impact on society.

For example, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president mourned in White House Funeral Sermon, dedicated his position to his goals of ending slavery and reuniting the country for all American citizens. The sermon says, “the cause he so ardently loved, so ably, patiently, faithfully represented and defended- not for himself only, not for us only, but for all people in all their coming generations” (Gurley). Abraham Lincoln is the prime example of a hero because of how spent so much time and effort into reuniting the country and bringing liberty to all races of people. He went so far as to risk attempts of the assassination until one attempt soon inevitably succeeded. Also, Malala Yousafzai, as you all may know is a female rights activist that wrote a Biography I Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, a Pakistani girl. When Malala was shot on the left side of her forehead by the Taliban. They thought that shooting her might silence her to stop fighting for her and other girls rights to an education. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. She says in the book, “I raise up my voice-not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard...we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” (Yousafzai,28).I am inspired by Malala's commitment and dedication to her cause. I find her to be incredibly courageous and brave. Despite the threats from the Taliban, Malala continued her educational pursuits even in the face of danger. She has encouraged me to never give up and stay true to my goals, even if fearful or anxious. As a young girl, I am in awe of what she had accomplished by my age. Through her sacrifice and voice, I am reminded to be grateful for my freedom and rights to education. On mornings when I am less than enthusiastic to go to school, I think of Malala and her circumstances. Malala Yousafzai is a hero in every sense of the word. She is courageous, determined, and unselfish. Malala has enlightened the world by her bravery and has become a world activist in children's rights and education. In summary, Abraham Lincoln and Malala exemplify heroism through helping others.

Another part of being a hero does not give up/ perseveres. A model of this quality is Frederick Douglass, a slave turned abolitionist that wrote the autobiography The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. After he is blessed with freedom from slavery, he could have just forgotten about the other victims like him and hid away from the people in New York, so that he does not get sent back. However, he instead persisted in his rebellion. He says,” I have been engaged in pleading the cause of my brethren- with what success, and with what devotion, I leave those acquainted with my labors to decide (Douglass). If Douglass did give up and not decided to fight for the abolishment, he would never be classified as a hero and never be remembered as a major figure in history. Another example of not giving up is in Tristan Eugene Segers, a military veteran who was badly wounded in an explosion and lost his right leg. Although it might seem like he would never return to normal life, Serge did not give up on recovery. Instead of losing his will to live, Segers is enjoying a casual and happy lifestyle coexisting with his prosthetic. “Of course, the loss of a leg changed me. But it doesn’t define me or the rest of my life”(Fieage 2). Segers is heroic for pushing through his struggles and not giving up. He continued a normal life to benefit himself and his family. Tristan Eugene Segers and Frederick Douglass demonstrate that persevere is an essential trait of heroism.

Finally, the last trait that defines a hero is defying negative opposition. As an example, the main character of this film is Tracy, a young lady with big hair and an even bigger



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