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Myths and heroes : Can myths and heroes change the direction of the course of History ?

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The notion I am going to deal with is « Myth and Heroes ». To begin with, I’d like to give a definition of the notion. A myth is a popular belief on wich social values are often based, while a hero can be someone who is ready to sacrifised his or her life in order to make thinks evolved positivly. Myth and heroes indeed have always marked societies. Some were created whereas others are real. But how can myth and heroes change thz direction of the course of History ? By first, analysing the political aspect, then by focusing on the social aspect.

In 20th century, the world was facing a global conflict. During this period, three major economic and military powers clash : USA, URSS and Germany. The goal of each was to assert themselves as a power and to rally the people to their cause. In 1940, indeed, Jack Kirby creates the character of Captain America. The latter is a superhero of Comics who protects the free world against the threat of totalitarian regimes. A true patriotic figure, Captain America defends the democratic values of his country. Besides, his costume is in the colors of the country’s flag. Moreover, an other example of WWII’s figure can be quoted. The movie « Saving Private Ryan » show the atrocities of this world conflict through the life of four American soldier who participated in the Normandy landings. This movie came out in 1998 and is one of the first to show the bloody details of the fighting. Therefore, he helped raise awatness among the population of the horrors of war. These icons have thus upset this period of conflict by prpagating the democratic values of the USA.

Over the centuries, other people have engaged to improve the values of the country’s societies. In the 19th century, it was commonly agree that xoman were inferly to men. However, some women objected to this absurd idea.

In this search for equality between male and female, we could quote the character of Malala Yousafaï. She is a Pakistan activist for women's rights and claims their access to education. She have recently become the symbol of the fight for the education of girls against taliban. She was a victim of murder in 2012 and in 2014 (at the age of 17) receives the Nobel Peace Prize. This makes her the youngest woman to receive this award.

Recently, another woman became involved in this cause. On the 2nd anniversary of the UN-backed "HeForShe" campaign, the famous actress Emma Watson delivers a speech for gender equality. HeForShe is a global solidarity movement that calls upon men and everybody to take action and advocates for gender aquality. The main goal of this campaing is for example, to increase the number of women in Oxford or Story Brook in USA.

Thus, whether it is the context of the Second World War or the struggle for gender equality, these people can be considered as heroes. They have tried to make things progress and at the same time, to change mentalities. They thus contribute to the development of a more equal and peacefu world.

I'm going to talk about the notion « idea of progress ». Progress is the idea that the world and the society can evolve prositively in therms of sciences thechnology, modernization and living condition. The « hippies » was an era of mentalities change and revolution. In the 60's people were doing their best to break away from society's rules. So we're going to ask ourselves; to what extent did the hippy movement contribute to social progress?

   The hippie movement started at the end of the 1960's and lasted the whole of the 1970's. The Woodstock music festival was a very famous hippie event where Jimi Hendrix played the US national anthem ( The star spangled banner = la bannière étoilé). In the document « the beatles and their influence on culture » by Rudolf Hecl we learnd that childrens look on their parents way of living with contempt. And in the sixties the gulf between these two age groups was even wider than it had ever been before. In the whole world there was a feeling of discontent with the state of society amoung the young.It was a new revolution; they rebelled against the traditional values of their parents.  

    Also The hippies had a differents philosophy of their parents. They wanted to break with what they thought was wrong, like the conformist, conservative, consumerist society of the older generation.They were against the war in general and against the Vietnam war in particular.They protested against it and demonstrated with slogan like « make love not war »,« peace and love » this is why the other name of their movement was « flower power» they were pacifist. A lot of protest songs where created, « mercedes benz » by Janis Joplin is one of them; in this song she use irony to denounce the materialistic, the conformist, and the consumer society. By saying the opposite to what she means she shows that the hippie philosophy is not about praying for material goods but for happiness, peace, artistic inspiration and spirituality. John lennon also made a protest song called « imagine »; in this song he use utopia to denoune the society he lives in, he critizces religion,people not making the most of their lives, war, patriotism and nationalism. In the chorus, he refers to the « dreamers»  he refers to the hippies and the indian philosophy. He wishes everyone would treat each others like brothers. 

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