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Myths and heroes : To what extent can an average person be a hero ?

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Par   •  25 Avril 2020  •  Synthèse  •  561 Mots (3 Pages)  •  557 Vues

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        Usually, a myth is a traditionnal story of ostensibly historical events that serve to unfold parts of the worldview of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon. It can also be a popular belief or tradition that has grown up around someone or something. A myth can also be a person or thing having only an imaginary or unverifiable existence.

        A «Hero» can be a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great stength or ability, or an illustrious warrior, but the meaning that interests us is the principal character in a litterary or dramatic work wich is also the central figure in an event, period or movement.

        To what extent can an average person be a hero ?


        Through the texts seen in class : Walden, by David Henry Thoreau, On the road, by Jack Kerouak, I will answer the question. First we’ll be talking about the hero aspects, and secondly about how they can be seen as anti hero.


- In Walden, Thoreau wants to share his experience in the woods, surendered by nature, with the bare necessities, but self sufficient.

- He runs away from consuming society to practice resignation, liviing according to the seasons.

-  In On the road, Sal (the main character) manages to make a journey full of meetings, beautiful landscapes, without a « dime in his pocket ».

- He learns from his meetings, with people and with loneliness, but also with himself.

- The writing itself, spontaneous prose, is an ultimate freedom


- In Walden, instead of trying to make life more easy in society, he escapes from it selfishly.

- Even if his experiment is interesting, it definitly won’t improve people’s life.

- Sal could be seen as a wanderer without any incredible abilities.

- Also, he helps no one but himself.

In final, Walden by Thoreau is a masterpiece, but if it is a kind of heroism to walk away from society and its rules, it corresponds to the 19th century and not to the values that define heroism nowadays ( especially these days ). For his part, Jack Kerouac is a hero in his own, because he is avant-gardist with On the road, wich is an expression of the American literary movement from the fifties, the beat generation.

        For me, even a simple person can be a hero, peoples can be heroes, a baker can be a hero,… because they serve the happiness in the world, because they helpe to save others from poverty, from death, from others or from themselves. When we were in Unesco with all my class, during the international terrosists attacks commemoration, we heard victims from terrible acts, but victims that helped others ; those victims were postmens, teachers, busdrivers… but they became heroes in front of death. Of course we don’t need to be in front of death if we want to be heroes, we can just try and make life better on earth for EVERYBODY. Happiness, equality, brothership,...and many other qualities should be «leitmotivs» in everybody’s heads, but it’s because it is not the case that we have to try and become heroes.


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