Poet Bertolt Brecht's Unhappy Is The Land Without Heros
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"Unhappy is the land without heroes," writes Poet Bertolt Brecht. This sentiment is shared among the majority, for what is society without heroes to aspire toward? However, once extraordinary heroism ascends to become normal everyday acts, extraordinary heroism will begin to die out leaving a better society in its place. The normalization of positive acts that render heroism unnecessary shows the growth of humanity without heroes. As shown through an analysis of heroism, use of the word “hero”, and the falling rate of world violence, the end of heroism lies with the beginning of society.
The stereotypical stock image of DC or Marvel characters is the first thing that pops into the mind when heroism is mentioned. While there are countless real life heroes (Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks to be notable examples), they lay forgotten against the overdramatized perceptions of the ultimate hero- someone capable to swoop in at a moment’s notice and correct all of humanity's problems. Superman is an example of this. An alien with laser beam eyes and strength of steel, able to jump over high buildings, to swoop in and beat crime up on the spot, his feats are pure fiction and nothing obtainable- but his actions aspire awe in anyone. It is of interest to note that Superman comics became most popular during the middle of the second world war in 1938, when society, particularly western civilization, felt most vulnerable and upset with the changes in the world. As history has corrected itself, heroic characters have undergone change as well. Over time, humans have taken their lives into their own hands with the onset of modern science and technology to light the way, with the largest idea that people can change their own fates. As a result, humanity is no longer reliant on some higher power older male figure to swoop in and correct the world. Modern heroes now are more commonly described as everyday ordinary normal people. Heroes figures were vital because they were needed for comfort- an idea to rely on when the world collapses and the only option was prayer. Upon realizing that there would be no one to clean humanity’s self-wrought mess, society changed into the heroes it needed to be. In turn, by controlling