‘No one in the novel can actually be seen as a hero.’ To what extent do you agree?
Superman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman—what do all these characters have in common? They are all products of the human aspiration to be saved. The word hero is passed around too much these days. A hero is not a football player that scores the game-winning touchdown or the goaltender who saves his team from a loss. A hero is usually an ordinary person that did extraordinary things. A true hero is really never a hero at all; at least not in their own mind. However, there are various cases today in which we see the exact opposites of these characters, the anti-heroes. The anti-hero is one who cannot be classified as a hero, for that said character lacks natural heroic qualities. However, the anti-hero cannot be described as a villain either.
We often believe that the protagonist of a story is a hero and possesses heroic qualities such as moral goodness, courage and selflessness. However, this is not true for every story. A story can have a protagonist who is an anti-hero: someone who lacks the traditional qualities of a hero. Anti-heroes are defined in three ways: The Satanic anti-hero, a character who seeks an evil goal through evil means, the Promethean anti-hero, someone who seeks a worthy goal but by unethical means, and the Byronic anti-hero, a character who has undefined goals and are to be achieved through questionable means, in which this character is often unpredictable mysterious, moody, and self-destructive. Both Macbeth from William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth and Pink from the film, Pink Floyd – The Wall, are both anti-heroes. More specifically, Macbeth is classified as a satanic anti-hero who seeks the goal to become king and Pink is a Byronic anti-hero, who has no clear goal other than to escape the ‘wall’ he is trapped in. Some similarities these two characters share are that they are both privileged (with Macbeth being a well-praised warrior and Pink being a famous musician), are supported by corrupting influences and rationalize their worse deeds as needing to preserve their own safety. Although Macbeth and Pink share similar characteristics, I would assert, because of Pink’s childhood traumas, that Pink deserves more sympathy than Macbeth.
Sporting a fedora, suit and a cigarette in hand, leaning against a wall, the captivating anti-hero stands double crossed in the stereotypical L.A. noir genre. Right in the heat of World War II noir started to rise to the top and become a popular source of entertainment and instant distraction from reality. Many people were drawn to the anti-hero; they were drawn to the flawed characters who were the “heroes” despite their flaws. A hero embodies what people want to be, most consider noir anti-hero’s the same. You can idolize them in a story, but they all have specific characteristics that make the “hero,” themselves, just as vulnerable as everyone else. An anti-hero needs to be layered, complicated, and flawed that pushes the boundaries of what is right and what is wrong. They need an illustrated struggle that builds through growth so as the audience reads they can keep showing optimism for the anti-hero as they try to seek redemption. A novel by James M. Cain, Double Indemnity’s anti-hero Walter Neff has many flaws; flaws that are egotistical and murderous, but also manipulative and powerful. Just like Walter Neff, a recent character that is the epitome of an anti-hero is, Frank Underwood in the show House of Cards. Frank started at the bottom and with his anti-hero characteristics powered his way to presidency putting many morals aside and doing what he thought was the only option to achieve what he wanted. With complex motives, a driven mindset, and no boundaries, the
Heroism is manifested in every hero because they want to help people, All fictional heroes share the fact that their mindset changes through adversities in order to reach fulfillment. For example, Odysseus is considered an unconventional hero because he killed and or scarred many creatures that prevented him from going home. On the other hand, Rainsford is also considered an unconventional hero, but he didn’t have powers like Odysseus to kill his hunter (General Zaroff) instead he used his intellect. In addition, the archetype heroes of war are portrayed in Odysseus and Rainsford because yet endure hardships through creatures and or people. Although Odysseus and Rainsford share their differences in the development and growth of their mindset, they eventually find their destiny as becoming altruistic. In summary, methods and approaches taken by the heroes based on their obstacles can help us identify comparing key points as well as contrasting in fictional heroes. At the end of the day, all heroes fictional or not will be portrayed as being selfless through their change of
The concept of a hero has been around for many generations, and the meaning of a hero is defined in ways people grasp its idea. A hero can be a person who has a superpower and is willing to make a personal sacrifice for the benefit of others or can be an ordinary everyday person who just wants to help people out of his or her own heart. Linda Seger’s article, “Creating the Myth,” tackles the idea of a “Hero 's Myth,” and shows the ten steps of how heroes are transformed from an ordinary person to the Savior. On the other hand, Robert B. Ray piece titled, “The Thematic Paradigm,” emphasizes that in modern films, it is either having an “Outlaw Hero or an Official Hero,” which he uses three stages to demonstrates how they are different each other in the way they perform in the society. Further, the article, “Out of Character: Wonder Woman’s Strength Is Her Compassion - What Happened?” by Stevie St. John, explains how Wonder Woman was viewed as a compassionate woman in the 1940s and 1950s, and in the 2000s she changes into a more violent person. In this essay, I argue that a hero is subjective, and is defined by the villain or event that they had to adapt to suddenly.
As time goes on and new generations come about, many of the ideals of former generations seem to become irrelevant. Scott LaBarge, a professor of philosophy, elaborates on this idea and others in his essay. “Why Heroes Are Important” is LaBarge’s pursuit to persuade others of his idea of heroes in today’s society. He claims that many of our youth do not know what a proper hero is and that former generations should be educating them. LaBarge begins his persuasion by describing his personal experience and credibility; then, he briefly describes the history of heroes to tie in his opinion on the definition; finally, he uses Aristotle’s idea of Kairos to explain how his opinion proves true according to current events.
Everybody has their own version of what a hero is supposed to look like and what they must do to act as a hero, but heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Heroes are defined by how they are able to help under certain circumstances. For instance, Martin Luther King Jr. fought for racial equality in the 60’s, Susan Brownell Anthony fought for the women's right to vote in the 1800’s, Christianity’s Jesus Christ fought to protect humanity for all their sins over 2000 years ago, Luke Skywalker fought the Galactic Empire to restore order for the entire universe a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, and Iron man who fought numerous villains to keep the public safe in popular media. The story of “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. shows how an anti-hero may be the best type of hero in a dystopian setting. This anti-hero is better known as
Calley Hagen Matt Montoya English 101 14 October 2014 A Response to Stephen Garrett’s “Why We Love TV’s Anti-heroes” In the reading, “Why We Love TV’s Anti-heroes” by Stephen Garrett, he points out that anti-heroes are becoming more popular than the traditional hero. Garrett states, “the word hero is abused in the news, the sports reports, and even in conversation” (318). For example tabloids recognize someone who battles a drug addiction and overcomes it or a substitute kicker for the football game kick the winning field goal (318). You see he argues that traditional heroes are “boring” and that there are no longer any more real heroes (318-321). Anti-heroes are characters or people who are just evil but still get the viewers to like
While “Have at thee!” the Arthurian battle cry from Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail, is a far a-hem cry from the modern day hero’s, the essence remains the same. Many aspects of culture have been wholly altered, but society’s quest for a hero has remained. Each people
Batman and Theseus False Heroes Revered by the Masses A hero is universally seen as a selfless individual who puts the needs of others before themselves. Heroes usually hold the same values; honor, nobility, integrity, and strength. Now what happens when a person does not hold those heroic values? What if their motivations did not have good intentions? These are the questions that will be answered using the deconstruction critical lenses. “Today, it is much harder to detach the concept of heroism from morality; we only call heroes those whom we admire and wish to emulate.” (Lebarge web) The Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur has evolved into the modern trilogy of Batman which, when deconstructed, reveals how the selfish motivations of
Introduction Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Notes from the Underground (1864/2008) comes across as a diary penned by a self-described “spiteful” and “unattractive” anonymous narrator (p. 7). The narrator’s own self-loathing characterized by self-alienation is so obvious, that he is often referred to by critics as the Underground Man (Frank 1961, p. 1). Yet this Underground Man is the central character of Dostoyevsky’s novel and represents a subversion of the typical courageous hero. In this regard, the Underground man is an anti-hero, since as a protagonist he not only challenges the typical literary version of a hero, but also challenges conventional thinking (Brombert 1999, p. 1).
There is no doubt that the popularity of the anti-hero as we know it has increased in recent times. With unlikely, yet popular moral gray protagonists like Jack Bauer, Dexter, and Gregory House leading some of the most popular TV shows and characters like James Bond, Lisbeth Salander, Tyler Durden (from Fight Club), and Jack Sparrow being some of the most memorable in movies, it is not surprising that there has been an increased interest to understand what causes this characters to be so popular (Peter Jonason in et al., 193). What is it that makes them as likeable, if not more, than a normal hero? How come we relate to characters that perform actions that, if done in real life, would cause us to see them in a whole different light?
The original hero archetype greatly contrasts the modern anti-hero archetype. A hero is someone who displays little to no flaws and is widely liked by the majority. This character presents its storyline with exceptional traits. The anti-hero archetype is completely opposite of the hero archetype. “Unlike the traditional hero who is morally upright and steadfast, the anti-hero usually has a flawed moral character” (Michael). Modern anti-heroes lack in grace, power, and social success (Neimneh). They deal with issues and insecurities such as alcoholism and infidelity (Michael). Anti-heroes make unpleasant moral compromises, in contrast to the desired, in order to reach something. They want to create order where it is impossible and put the protagonist to ‘justice’. Traditional hero characters often succeed when trying to complete their quests, which contrasts the extremely grimm success rate of anti-hero victory. Anti-heroes also do not let their inner thoughts influence their actions while original or traditional heroes seek self-definition (Teleky). Traditional hero characters often succeed when trying to complete their quests, which contrasts the extremely grimm success rate of anti-hero victory. The faultless ways of the hero archetype sets it apart from people in society, making it extremely unrelatable to the mass amount of humans today, allowing the anti-hero archetype to prevail through.