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Myths And Heroes

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Myths and heroes

I'm going to talk about the notion of myths and heroes. To begin with, I'd like to give a definition of both words.

A hero is someone people identify and want to imitate. A myth is a legendary figure with great strength and ability.

To illustrate this notion, I have chosen two texts.

How can ordinary people become heroes?

The first document is a short biography of Nelson Mandela. He was born in 1918 in South Africa that was divided by the apartheid system along black and white racial lines. He learnt more about it when he studied to become a lawyer. He campaigned for equal rights and got involved in the Africa National Congress (ANC), which he later became the leader of. The South African government put him in prison for 27 years to keep him from spreading a message of equality for blacks. He became famous around the world as an icon of the struggle for freedom in South Africa. Rock stars, actors, politicians and ordinary people campaigned to free him and to stop apartheid. He was released in 1990. He also won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and one year later he became his country’s first ever black president until 1999. In his retirement, he continued to tirelessly campaign for many global causes until old age slowed him down. He died in 2013 aged 95.

The second document is a summary of Gandhi’s life. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in Gujarat, Western India, in 1869. After studying law in London, he went to British controlled South Africa where he fought for the rights of Indians working there. Between 1916 and 1945, he struggled tirelessly to set India free from British rule through civil disobedience. He organized boycotts of British goods and protest marches against unpopular British measures. Gandhi was repeatedly imprisoned by the British and went on hunger strike to defend his views.

Gandhi’s non-violent means of protest had a great influence on people like Martin Luther King, JR. On January 3, 1948, he was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic who was opposed to his stand for tolerance of all religions. Two years later, India became an independent republic.

Ordinary people can become heroes in so far as they sacrifice their lives for the well-being of their country. Nelson Mandela was and remains a huge hero. He experienced many things in his nine decades, from being tortured to becoming president of the country he loved. About Gandhi, demonstrating the efficiency of non-violence, he has devoted his life to the emancipation of India. They are people from whom we can all learn many lessons. Their words and their acts have earned them a place in the collective memory.

I think we should not forget that kind of personalities, who help their countries to evolve, we must act like them, showing courage and determination, and our efforts will pay.


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