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Hero Concept in Literature

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Writing Assignment 2: Hero Concept In literature there are many different concepts that authors use, one concept that is used is the 'hero concept,' which can capture any audience, and can be seen in many different ways, but it's pretty clear that a hero is someone with the will to stand up for what they believe in, has courage, and is strong for others. People in general, at some point, have wanted to be the hero, or have the courage to stand up for what they believe in. More often than not, people stand by and don't act in a heroic manner, so when reading a story, poem, or other piece of literature that uses the hero concept; it captures the reader and keeps the reader interested. The hero concept is clearly used in "Bodega Dreams," "Hard Rock Returns to Prison for the Criminal Insane," and "The Train from Hate." The authors of these pieces of literature keep the reader captivated by using the hero concept, and the pathos appeal, evoking a sense of emotion in the reader. "Bodega Dreams" by Ernesto Quinonez has a great example of a hero. This short story is of a class of apparent minority students, who are told by one teacher that they will never amount to anything, and would end up in jail or on the streets. Since the students are being constantly told that they will fail, they don't make an effort. This causes another teacher, the "hero," to become very angry, because he wants to see his students succeed. The narrator reveals this teachers heroic nature when the teacher makes his speech to the class, "I don't care what Blessington's been telling you! If you are here it is because you want to be, right? Otherwise don't even come to school, just stay on the street. You can make more money selling pot on the stairwells than coming to my classroom, but if you come and I want you to come, I like having you here." (Quinonez) Any reader would be captivated by this teacher's heroic speech, and it appears to have an effect on the students as well. The teacher named Tapia made his speech to try and reach his students, so that they would try harder to succeed. This was something he really believed in, and he stood up for what he believed in, which is just one great an example of what a hero is. In "Hard Rock Returns to Prison for the Criminal Insane" it's a little harder to see the heroic nature, but after analyzing the poem it appears that the inmates did look up to Hard Rock as a hero. However, after he returns it appears that Hard Rock has become a person that no longer stands up for himself. In the beginning of the poem Hard Rock is described as someone who stands up for himself and doesn't let anyone tell him what to do. The other inmates look up to Hard Rock, because they don't have the courage to stand up for themselves, and it gives them hope that one day they may be able to. After Hard Rock goes away the inmates discuss rumors that Hard Rock has been experimented on to make him obey authority. This is disheartening to them, because he is their only hope for the courage to stand up for themselves. This is very clear as the narrator writes, "And we turned away, our eyes on the ground. Crushed. He had been our Destroyer, the doer of things." (Knight) In this description alone it is clear that Hard Rock was the inmate's hero, and that he had lost his heroism which made them feel hopeless. The way the narrator uses the hero concept in this poem yields an emotional result out of the reader, because of the description of the inmate's feelings. "A Train from Hate" has all the elements of what a hero is. This short story pertains to racial bias on a train. The main characters include a minority mother taking care of her two children. She is trying to travel to town on the train, but is harassed by the "white" people on the train, because there was no room except for in the coach for white people. Instead of asking the mother and her children to move to the coach reserved for "colored's" she was asked to leave the train before making it into town. The mother is the hero of this story as the narrator tells how she comforts her son "She assured me that the conductor was not superior because he was white, and I was not inferior because I was black. I must always remember that simple fact, she said." (Franklin) Not only does the mother show her own courage, but she also tries to give her son courage. She believes in herself, which makes her a hero through her son's eyes, and this is what keeps the reader captivated while also connecting the reader with the author. The author of this short story, like the other authors discussed, uses hero concept to make the story more outstanding, and emotional. To conclude, literature uses the hero concept to in many ways. A hero would be described as a person who stands up for what he or she believes in, has courage, and is strong for others. The literary works discussed all show examples of how literature uses the hero concept, and how it can keep the reader intrigued. This is an important part of writing, because not only does it help the reader connect, but it can also inspire the reader to have the courage to be the hero.

Works Cited
Franklin, John Hope. "The Train from Hate." Missy James, Alan P. Merickel. Reading Literature and Writing Argument. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education Inc. , 2013. 223-224.
Knight, Etheridge. "Hard Rock Returns to Prison for the Criminal Insane." Missy James, Alan P. Merickel. Reading Literature and Writing Argument. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education Inc. , 2013. 194-195.
Quinonez, Ernesto. "Bodega Dreams ." Missy James, Alan P. Merickel. Reading Literature and Writing Argument. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education Inc., 2013. 178-18.…...

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