Essay on Between Harrison Bergeron and a&P

1076 Words Apr 26th, 2010 5 Pages
Tim Kenda English 102 Short Story Essay 2/28/10 Heroism Through Choice When people think of heroes, they often think of muscle bound men in spandex with unrealistic powers of flight, strength, or x-ray vision. But in real life, heroes are often determined based on the smallest of situations and their outcomes. In both of the stories I have chosen (A&P and Harrison Bergeron), the main characters are classified as heroes because of their willingness to defy the authoritive forces around them, whether it be the store manager Lengel in A&P or the Handicapper General in Harrison Bergeron, as well as their willingness to strike out on their own instead of adhering to social norms. In Harrison Bergeron, the main character Harrison …show more content…
After he quits, he looks back and sees “Lengel in [his] place in the slot, checking the sheep through.” and then goes on to describe Lengel by saying “His face was dark gray and his back stiff, as if he’d just had an injection of iron.”(Updike 529). When he sees Lengel in this state, he realizes that moments before that had been him. At the end of the story, the cashier becomes a symbol of the thoughts of many young people during the late fifties and early sixties. He does not want to work in the same dreary place for his whole life. He does not want to be just like his parents and Lengel. And despite that fact that he knows it will be hard, he makes the decision to strike out on his own, and consequently to fight back against what he views as a dreary and depressing reality. That is a hard decision to make, and a heroic one as well. As a result of his actions, the cashier in A&P not only commits a heroic gesture, he also becomes a symbol of the change that was taking place in the late fifties and early sixties. Many young people at that point in time were breaking away from what their parents were doing and were bravely striking off onto their own paths, just like the hero in our story. The overall theme of the story mirrors the same path, showing the drear and the tension and the

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