W2, #6: DEFINING A “HERO”

Set-Up: Throughout the year, we’ll be looking at every story in terms of the “hero”.  For some, this simply means the “protagonist” — or central/main character of the story — but over time we will begin to understand that the “hero” is a very complicated, multi-tiered concept.

Challenge:

  1. Identify — in your opinion — the best example of a “hero” in any movie or TV show you’ve ever seen. Explain why you believe this person/being is the ‘best’ example.
  2. Identify — in your opinion — the best example of a “hero” in any book or story you’ve ever read.  Explain why you believe this character is the ‘best’ example.
  3. Identify — in your opinion — the best real life human being that has acted in a “heroic” manner during your lifetime.  The person can be someone you know or someone you’ve heard about on the news, etc.

Length: Min of 2 sentences for each of the 3 characters/people.

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33 responses to “W2, #6: DEFINING A “HERO”

  1. The best example of a hero (definitely not my favorite hero, but in using Joseph Campbell’s monomyth theory) is going to have to be Luke Skywalker. The reason Luke Skywalker is such a textbook example of an archetype hero is because he follows the fundamental structure of a “hero” exactly, the structure of a hero (basically) being:
    1. A call to adventure.
    2. A road of trials.
    3. Achieving the boon (blessing or gift)
    4. A return to the ordinary world
    5. Applying the boon
    (note: stages do not have to be followed in this exact order)
    Luke undergoes each of these stages in a very profound and obvious manner throughout Episode VI. Luke was called to adventure when Obi Wan took him to deliver the Death Star plans to Alderaan (before it blew up). Luke went on his road of trials when he was captured by the Death Star and had to escape, then he achieved an understanding of the Force (the boon), then he returned to his friends (the ordinary world) and destroyed the Death Star by using the force, or applying his boon.
    Applying the same thinking/reasoning to the literature world, another obvious archetype hero would have to be Moses (whom Luke Skywalker is based off of, essentially, which was mentioned in class once). Moses is called to God to free the Jewish slaves. He underwent many trials throughout his life (the biggest example being leading the Jews to the Promised Land, Canaan). He achieves God’s blessing, which he uses to perform various miracles (such as the parting of the Red Sea) that helps lead the Jews to Canaan.
    Choosing an archetype hero that exists in real life is a more difficult task, because there is a lot of people who fit the structure of a “hero” to some degree. Steven Hawking may be the most well-known example, albeit not the best one. But he unarguably underwent trials when he was diagnosed with ALS which renders him almost completely paralyzed. But he still worked hard and was called to work with the top scientific minds in the country, and he used his blessing of an incredibly intelligent mind to develop theories on theoretical cosmology and quantum gravity.

    Another reminder that these are not my favorite heroes, but are just good examples of an “archetype hero”. My favorite heroes are Indiana Jones and Batman 😀

    ***

    Mr. Long: This is the part in the conversation where my chin hits the proverbial floor, and I try to imagine how not to spend 30 minutes typing a never-ending response to you. In other words, this Teacher Guy just realized that you are 100% ready to leap down the rabbit hole to follow Joseph Campbell’s foot steps. If you — not saying you will, ’cause it’s technically ‘extra work’ (he smiles) — were to find the “Class Wiki” or “Hero Concept” links in Edline for your class, you might — and I’m just saying… — find a little J. Campbell link fest there. Perhaps you’ll sense — deservedly — that you are hot on the trail of the rabbit we’ll be chasing all year. I’ll let others follow the breadcrumbs with you, rather than spoil the entire ‘movie’ by speaking in overwhelming detail as to what you brought up…but well done. I guess this means I get to raise the level of expectation to “Game On!” for you/your class. Unless of course — ’cause it is possible, young Skywalker — that you just got lucky on this one?! (said with slightly raised eyebrow and an impish half-cocked grin). Oh, and name-dropping Hawking must be worth a few quark-bonus points in the time-space continuum. You may be one of only tiny, tiny, nearly impossible to see group of your fellow classmates who know who the S.H. fella is — especially to put him up in the pantheon of real-life heroes in the process — but perhaps I’ll be proven wrong. Perhaps?

  2. First, student #1, your response was amazing to say the least. I really like how you listed the components of a hero and then went on to illustrate how Luke fit that profile.

    Like you mentioned, when thinking of a hero in a movie or TV show, Batman came to mind. I think Batman is a good choice not only because he “saves the day”, but first and foremost because he is still somewhat human. Batman still lives life, endures trials, and falls in love. He is often challenged and sometimes even battered, but never destroyed. No solution ever comes easy, but Batman always finds a way to come through for the people that are depending on him. He is easy to relate to, yet he can still do all these extraordinary things that we would only hope to accomplish.

    In a book, I thought a great example of a hero was Rusty Russell in Twelve Mighty Orphans. Rusty devoted his entire life to these twelve boys who had no one. Rusty gave them someone to look up to, someone to talk to, someone that they could hope to be like. He became a father figure to these boys. He taught them about respect, hard work, and perseverance. I think that Rusty gave his team a new lease on life, and he helped them change their lives for the better. He gave them tools that would bring them success not only on the football field, but in life in general. They were so much more than a team; they were a family.

    A person who I feel has been a hero in my life is without a doubt my father. He has worked so hard to get where he is today and I wholeheartedly admire that. My parents got divorced when I was 10, and although my dad did get remarried, my stepmom passed away last year. So my dad has practically raised me all by himself for the last 5 years. In addition, he has had to balance a career, and all the things that come with raising a child, as well as dealing with basic living expenses. Not only do I admire how he kept us afloat, I also really respect what he does for a living. He is a counselor and I am astounded by his ability to care for people. You can tell when you are talking to him that he is listening and that he is truly interested in everything you are saying. He is incredibly wise, and I know that whenever I come to him with a problem, he will help me in any way that he can. He has helped SO many people in the past, and I know he will help many more in the future.

    ***

    Mr. Long: While I have yet to have the pleasure of spending real time with your father, your description suggests that it’ll be well worth the wait. Your humility/appreciation says that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, also. The “care” you mentioned seems to be a trait you possess, as well. Thanks for sharing a bit about your family, esp. given what a challenging year+ it has been for all of you. Also pleased you mentioned one of the summer reading pieces. I know that we’ll have a chance next week to go into detail on all of them, but it was nice to see it nudged into center stage a bit early. Also, I loved seeing the first part of your comment be a compliment about another student’s earlier response. That — as simple as it can be done — is the very reason why we are sharing ideas across the ‘boundaries’ of the various class periods. While I’m happy to be part of teaching all of you a variety of things this year, I am even more pleased when you teach each other — and I simply get to ride your coattails.

  3. When I think of a hero in a movie or TV show, many characters come to mind. But one in particular stands out to me; King Leonidas from the movie 300. I vaguely remember learning about him and the Spartans last year, and when my brother recommended watching it, I was hesitant. I usually don’t watch movies like that, but it was amazing. When King Leonidus is threatened by a messenger from Xerxes, it is apparent that Leonidas is going to be a hero. He defends his wife and people to the best of his ability. Leonidas gets together 300 soldiers and prepares for battle. He and his small army dare to face Xerxes and his army of thousands. Leonidas has the determination and courage of a true hero. The Spartans fight till the very end, giving their all. But Leonidas makes it to the end. He dies a hero, and would always be remembered as the brave leader of 300. Even though he died in the end, he had all the characteristics a real hero.

    To me, the best example of a hero in a book would have to be Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. I read this book in the eighth grade knowing it was supposed to be an excellent novel. I have to say it was one of the best books I’ve ever read. The book takes place in a southern town in Alabama in the 1930s. Atticus, a lawyer, hears about a case that involves a black man named Tom Robinson. The town was filled with racists and ignorant people. He immediately takes the case knowing it wouldn’t be socially accepted in his town. People are shocked when they hear he is defending Tom, and begin to terrorize him and his two children, Jem and Scout. Atticus does what’s morally right, even though it’s not accepted. He gives Tom a fair chance to be defended in court. He is a hero because he does the right thing when no one else will. Atticus doesn’t care what the other people think and demands justice for all. In the end, Tom is convicted, though he is innocent, and shot trying to escape from prison. Atticus did all he could to save Tom’s life, even risking his own, and that’s all you can ask for.

    A hero in real life is my mom. Similar to Student # 2, my parents also got divorced when I was 10. My mother was now on her own to raise two kids. She had to take on all the responsibility from that point on. My mom works in Dallas, about an hour away from where we live. So she sometimes has a hard time getting us to where we need to go. But no matter what, she makes sure we get there. She puts food on the table and sends us to private school. I know she tries her best at everything she does. I admire her because of how hard and long she works. And yet she still finds time to ask us how our day was. We do fight a lot, but no matter what she’s there for me in the end. My mom always supports me, even if she doesn’t agree with the choices I make. She has flaws, but what hero doesn’t? I know she has been through a lot over the course of her lifetime, and that’s what makes her so strong. I know she will always be there for me, and I love her for it.

    ***

    Mr. Long: I was wondering if someone was going to mention 300 sooner or later. Just saved the YouTube copy of the trailer from this film thinking we might show it at some point to deal with this question. Guess my gut was solid on this one.

    Powerful reflection about your mother’s efforts to do whatever it takes to support you, even given the challenge in her commute/work responsibilities. Sense that this is something you’ll do for your own kids one day. And I adore this comment: “She has flaws, but what hero doesn’t?” So true! And we’ll talk about this many times over!

    You’re the 2nd person to bring up Atticus. Wish we could add TKAM to the reading list now.

  4. When thinking of a hero the one that comes to mind is definitely A.J in the movie Armageddon. The movie is about integrity, strategy and love. As he is out into space to save the world he is leaving behind the most precious thing in his life and thats his fiancee. He shows what it means to put the worlds problems before yours, literally. When i think of him i think of a man who has his life planned out but when something gets in the way he has no other response then “yes sir i will do the job.” Another reason he is a hero to me is because even though he was scared and worried of what might happen he never let it hit his emotions he stood strong for everyone around him. Many relied on him and every-time he came through for them so in my mind he was everything a hero is thought to be like.

    A great hero in a book to me would definitely be Ron Hall from the book “Same kind of difference as I.” I think that he was a hero bc he never gave up trying to help become closer to Denver. Even though he didn’t save the world he saved a person from having a life not worth living and to me is just as important. Ron Hall also was influenced by his hero, his wife. She gave him the strength to go through the toughest battles and everyday he became a little bit stronger just because of her. And to me i think rubbed off on Denver. Denver realized for the first time someone recognized him and he looked up at Mr. Hall as his hero. I think in his eyes a hero want someone who at the end of the day had caught the bad guy or helped the victim it was the person you could look at say one day i would like to be like you and hopefully influence someone the way you did to me. In my eyes sometimes that is all a hero needs to be to obtain his title.

    Lastly the person who has been a hero in my life has definitely been my mom. She is a woman who knows who she wants to be and makes everything in my life the best it can be. In my opinion there is no one in the world who possesses all the great qualities and characteristics that she does. She means the world to me and i honestly can say if i grow up and am like her i think i will have a pretty amazing life. She shows me whats right and wrong and when a choice is good and bad. To me she is my hero because she is not only my mom but my best friend, my idol, and my everyday encourager. She pushes me to my full potential every-time I set my mind to something. I love that even when life gets down I can count on her to be there for me. So basically she is the hero of my life for more reasons then could possibly be written in words.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Great to see that mentioned one of the summer reading options in this category. Hopefully it’ll nudge a few other people to read about Denver/Mr. Hall. Amazing that that story took place right here!

    Your mom would love this description. Consider sharing it with her ‘out of the blue’ one day; it’ll be something she’ll never forget.

    Oh, and nice point re: the film hero being fearful but not allowing that to stop him from doing the right thing over time. Powerful reminder for all of us!

  5. The first hero I think of is Link. (Please refrain from rolling your eyes.) I mean, he IS called the “Hero of Time.” He’s humble, he’s strong, he rescues people, and he’s willing to die over and over and over again in order to defeat evil (or maybe that’s just me behind the game controllers, lol).

    But, my very favorite hero of all time is Frodo. Not only do his big feet and curly hair rock, but there is so much that he went through to achieve his goal. So many depended on him, and he just kept pushing and pushing even though he was tired and bruised and sore and can hardly walk anymore and is himself halfway over to the dark side. I really love the lines Sam says to him there at the end:

    “It’s in the great stories, Frodo, the ones that really mattered. …These were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.”

    And Sam is a pretty big hero, too…Frodo would have been toast long ago if it hadn’t been for him… But man, I could just go on all day about the heroes in the Lord of the Rings, and even longer about the Lord of the Rings in general! There’s so much awesome stuff there!

    ***

    Mr. Long: Such a cool quotation you shared in the Frodo section. The “[t]hese were the stories that stayed with you…” is a brilliant option for us to talk about later in the year. You should see lots of reason to bring up Tolkien (etc) in class. Don’t hesitate!

    BTW, do you have an answer for the 3rd ‘hero’ — one from the real world — that comes to mind?

  6. Student 5 (part 2)

    I have a lot of real-life heroes. They’re mostly people around me (even people my age and younger), people who say something in support of someone else, even if it isn’t something a “popular” person would say. People who tell the truth, who admit their mistakes, who are kind, who aren’t hindered by pride, etc. These people are role models to me. It takes so much strength to be someone like that, and I really look up to them.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Something utterly wonderful about that opening 2 lines, my friend, esp. “most people around me (even people my age and younger)” part. Thank you for making sure that — in addition to warriors and princesses and dragons and wizards and such — we see the ‘heroic’ in everyday life when perhaps we’d otherwise miss out. Like you, I am constantly inspired/moved by the “average” or “ordinary” person, often much more so than the epic hero and celebrity. In fact, you/your classmates have that impact on me when — in moments like this — I am reminded to re-wire my brain for the rest of the day, protecting myself from over-looking the majesty of everyday life. Thank you.

    Oh, and I love that you took the time to see if I left a response last time, noticed I asked you a specific question, and came back to offer the second part of the original reply. This is not something I’ll forget; hopefully it’ll become routine for all others to. (nudge, nudge)

  7. Matt Langdon (visitor)

    Well hello Mr. Long. Is it okay for me to join the ride here?

    These are some fantastic responses. I loved “She has flaws, but what hero doesn’t?” I love the Sam quote. I loved Skywalker’s hero’s journey.

    My jaw hit that same proverbial floor. I look forward to seeing more.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Well, well, well! Truly an honor to have you here with us, Matt. Glad that you took the opportunity to touch base (after our initial talks this summer as you were coming back to ‘real life’ from yet another glorious summer at camp!).

    Really excited to have my students discover what you do for a living with regards to the “hero” lens. I know you work with a lot of students of all ages, but hopefully you’ll have a few tricks up your sleeve for very bright 10th graders who will spend the entire year pushing hard — really hard — on Joseph Campbell, the “hero’s journey”, and the billion and one connections to everything in life we take for granted.

    And perhaps — ’cause I’m funny like that — one (or more) of my students will follow the proverbial bread crumb trail (or the “waskily wabbit” with the pocket watch) down the mythological rabbit hole to see what that web site of yours is all about.

    Will they? Or won’t they? Curious people want to know!

    P.S. Matt, if you see me on Skype in the next week, ping me. Let’s do a little Teacher Guy brainstorming together to prep for the tsunami of student wisdom that will be soon knocking on our collective doors. Game?

  8. I’ll be curious to see if they go down that rabbit hole. Link will be waiting there for them (student five especially).

    I don’t have Skype (I know – the horror!) but feel free to call me any time. I’m working on my year-long curriculum so the topic of conversation would be appropriate.

    ***

    Mr. Long: What? You don’t…ah, ah, ah…have…ah, ah, ah…Skype?

    Psst: It’s free, an easy download, and a wonderful way to keep in touch with people around the world. Maybe you might find time to check it out, Matt, in the near future. Would be fun to have you join us in conversation voice-to-voice (even if you’re on the other side of the country) one day soon.

    Or maybe I can call you from my computer, put you on the ceiling speakers, and the class could still hear you.

  9. Well sinsce Batman was used I will have to say that to me Maximus, from Gladiator, is the next best example of a hero. Maximus was the leader of a Roman army. He had a family who loved him in addition to having his men’s loyalty. He had an undying allegiance to his king. So much so that he had to expose the king’s son for the scum he was. When Maximus became a gladiator he used his knowledge of battle to help his comrades stay alive. He saved the life of one of the men even though by doing so he put his life at risk. When he was in battle he showed mercy, even when the imposter emperor asked for death. Because Maximus adhered to good principles even in brutal conditions that probably would have reduced most men to the level of basic selfish survival, he was admired and when he died he was honored.

    As for my next favorite hero, it took me a while to decide between Aragorn, from Lord of the Rings, or Sam, from the book of the same book. Both are heroes of a sort but I decided to go with Aragorn. Firstly Aragorn is a hero, because he was tempted to take the ring from Frodo but he overcame the temptation. Instead he was willing to make whatever sacrifices were necessary to protect the people he cared about. In fact he tried to send his love Arwen to the Grey Havens when it becomes apparent that she would die otherwise. He was a leader and just his presence made the men of the armies more confident. He was humble and didn’t aspire to rule Gondor or to be the ring bearer. When it was apparent that the support of the dead armies was needed and that to obtain it he had to go through the mountain to become the king, he set aside his personal desires and responded to the call of duty. He was able to overcome his fears and do what was necessary when lesser men would have run in fear.

    I feel that my dad has been and still is a hero. He maybe gets 4 hours of sleep each night due to having to check my diabetic brother’s blood sugar, help me revise a paper or whatever. My dad is always taking care of my family and doesn’t get to “play” very much. He often helps me get up at 5 o-clock so I can get ready for school. He supports me throughout the school year by going to games we are going to lose and helping me with homework. He has to go work all day and when he comes home he takes care of my severely handicapped “little” brother all night. He does his best to live his life and to teach his children to live in honorable ways.

    ***

    Mr. Long:I was wondering when someone would mention “Gladiator”. Fully agree with you on this example.

    As I said to you one-on-one the other day, any father would be humbled by reading what you wrote above. I’m not telling you that you must share this with him, but if you did…I think he’d keep it on him for the rest of his life.

    I have a lot of respect for you as a student which/person, but really have started to further appreciate the complex realities of your life (that don’t always show up in class each day). There is tremendous honor in the way you have described every member of your family…which says a lot about you in the process. Thank you for letting us be a part of your life. We’re better for it.

  10. My favorite hero from a movie comes from my favorite movie, “Son of Rambow.” (Yes, it is spelled with a “w”, I promise, and no, it really doesn’t have much to do with the “Rambo” movies.) The likelihood is that you haven’t seen it because most people haven’t. I’m pretty sure it was originally made for the 2007 Sundance film festival and only played in select theaters afterwards, but I’m not sure about that last part. While it’s not something I think you’d like, if you want to have a better idea of what I’m talking about,(but I give you a little background to understand) here’s a trailer (you can watch it in HD on quicktime, the standard didn’t even work for me):
    http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramount_vantage/sonoframbow/
    and a spoiler if you want(but watching the movie is just simply better):
    http://www.themoviespoiler.com/Spoilers/sonoframbow.html

    My favorite in this is Lee Carter, whom I’ve picked as a hero. He’s actually in a very sad position. His parents are never around, and so he’s left with only his brother who he seems to idolize, despite the fact he treats Lee very badly. Lee’s a “bully” at school, and he doesn’t have any friends. The one friend he makes, Will, is forbidden to see him (even though that doesn’t stop them from making their movie). When Will and Lee Carter become close, Will gets caught up in the magic of being popular and sort of abandons Lee, leaving Lee more alone than ever. The reason why I’ve picked him as my writing point today, is that despite all of this and his young age, he keeps getting himself through it. He stays loyal to Will and is still willing to be a great friend, and even put his life in jeopardy for this boy who left him even after they were supposed to be “blood brothers”. I think that he still sees the good heart in Will, and he believes in it. The same goes for his brother, who has never been nice to him, and yet Lee still looks up to him like little brothers do. While I disagree with the fact that he’s taking all of this from his brother, it shows a tremendous amount of faith, love, and trust on Lee Carter’s part, and those three things are extremely important to me, which is why he appealed so much to me when I chose who to write about.

    In literature, the hero I chose was George from “Of Mice and Men.” He takes care of Lennie through thick and thin, but mostly thick. After Lennie makes all of these mistakes with the girl in the red dress, for instance, George still sticks by him and guides him. Through the whole book, George tries his best to keep Lennie happy, even when he’s made the gravest mistake of all. Again I stress the faith, the love, and the trust both characters have for each other. To be that great of a friend and a person is heroic to me.

    As for real life, there are a couple people I really think are amazing in a heroic sense. My best friend, who has been through a whole lot of unfortunate events, so to speak. She still gets on and tries to be the best she can be, while being compassionate to her dad and to her friends and trying her hardest to be that person who can make you smile even when her heart is hurting. When I hurt, she hurts, and she has been consistently there for me for years. What else could I ask for?

    My mother, who is by far the most beautiful, loving, compassionate, nurturing person I’ve ever met in my entire life. If I could grow up and be as kind as her while maintaining the strength that she has, I would find myself to have succeeded greatly. I am so honored to be her daughter.
    My dad, who despite being raised by harsh parents that weaved their nature into his personality, tries his hardest to be the best to me and my brother that he can be. We have our troubles, but at the end of the day he loves me and lets me know it, and little by little overcomes the saying “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

    ***

    Mr. Long: I have wanted to see this movie. Not sure when I first heard about “Son of Rambow”, but it grabbed my radar. Thank you for nudging me towards it once again.

    Interesting. Someone else brought up George (and Lennie) — not sure if it was on the R&CC blog or the other one, but I’m glad to see the trend. Such an amazing book!

    Re: your friend, you’re right. What else could you hope for? An inspiring hint about an inspiring person. And you do incredible justice to your parents. Both seem like striking role models and guardians. Thank you for further introducing all of them.

  11. Superman is the best example of a hero in any movie. Having super strength, laser eye vision, or being able to fly doesn’t automatically classify you as a hero. A hero must undergo a series of challenges, and mental obstacles to deserve the title of a hero. Superman is a perfect example of this because; even though he has “super powers” he is expected to control them. Superman is faced with the challenge of controlling his powers in public, but also using those powers for good and not evil. And he is remarkable at it. He can be literally anywhere at anytime to help citizens. A hero never gives up, no matter what. Superman could have just taken off the suit and cape when Lex Luthor stabbed him with a jagged piece of kryptonite, his only weakness. But superman kept fighting. That’s why he is a hero.

    In any book I have ever read, Harry Potter stands out to me as an excellent example of a hero. He is expected to live up to high expectations, because of what amazing parents he has. Harry Potter in fact does save the day number of times, and doing it under that kind of pressure. He works extremely hard at what he does, and is willing to help others even if that puts his life at risk. A hero has to be selfless, and I believe Harry Potter is. Because he doesn’t do what does for fame or money, he does it for people around him.

    My brothers have acted in heroic manner during my life. My brothers have always pushed me in a better direction. During the past few years the have really changed my work ethic. Especially in basketball, I wanted to get better and they did to. They were there for me whenever I needed them, either when I needed some advice on something or just needed someone to rebound my shot (I live on a hill so whenever you want to shoot hoops your rebound is going to go in the opposite direction of where you are). My brothers have really been a great influence on me and helped me to make right decisions

  12. A realistic figure, Oskar Schindler was the epitome of a movie hero. Risking his own life and spending much of his money, Schindler bought as many Jewish laborers as possible. At the end, realizing how many Jews he has saved, he weeps in regret and guilt, for he knew he could have saved at least one more Jew, just one…

    Another hero in real life was Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King risked his own life for a brave cause—to stand up for what is right in treating African-American people equally. He was the epitome of a hero; he touched upon all the criteria of a hero.

    The best hero of a book, in my opinion, is Portia in The Merchant of Venice. Knowing that women were not allowed to be involved in business matters, she disguises herself as a male attorney. She defends the innocent Antonio and prosecutes the evil Shylock. She wins the trial because of her crafty ways.

  13. Think of a real-life hero. Okay, that is easy. But as I sit here, I realized maybe it was not so easy. Not because I do not know any, but because there are so many. Heroism is not as unique as being an Eagle Scout, or a Marine- the Few, the Proud, the Heroes. Nor are the only heroes the ones whose names everyone knows- Abraham Lincoln and Michael Phelps. No, heroes are everywhere, in every building at every hour of every day. There are so many nameless heroes in the world, yet they will never be recognized beyond those who they impacted, simply because they were not featured on 60 Minutes, or Oprah. If asked for love or money, these are the people who would say for love. These people are the nameless Uncle Toms, Levins, and Quasimodos of our world. In a time of self-centered, all-about-me’s, these are the people who it is not all about them. These are the people who give and help others simply because they want someone to have a nice day. To me, it is these nameless waitresses and accountants who are my heroes.

    Occasionally, but very rarely, there are heroes in literature who are so great that you wish they could jump out of the page and live. Not so you can take them to the mall and show off to all your friends, but just so you can look at them, and marvel at their greatness. For me, this hero is Jean Valjean. I say this not because of his tremendous physical strength, such as the time that he lifted a cart off the elderly Fauchevelent, a scene resembling that of the heroic animated Hercules. No, it is what Jean Valjean repeatedly overcame to succeed, considering the unfortunate cards he was often dealt. Jean Valjean personifies the saying, “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Jean Valjean also is that human and realistic hero that we all hope to be. Jean Valjean spent almost half his life in prison. Upon being released Valjean was angry at the malicious world, until he encountered a kindly man. Then, Valjean changed his tune. Valjean soon became the millionaire La Madeleine, and the mayor of the prosperous town that he created. However, the honest Valjean was again thrown in prison, where he faked his own death to escape. Once again, Valjean could have done unspeakable acts of horror on the cruel and unfair world, yet he did not. He did just the opposite. In one of the scenes forever cemented in my mind, Valjean rescued a little girl from cruel, ruthless foster parents. With this girl, Cosette, Valjean was truly happy. Even when his happiness was ripped from him when Cosette fell in love, Valjean risked his life to save her fiancée, and most importantly to save Cosette’s happiness. This venture included probably one of the most hellish experiences of Valjean’s life, when, at any time, he could have abandoned the fiancée, and saved himself. Yet he did not. It is not only what Valjean did that makes him a hero, but how he decided what to do. Some heroes are perfect- the line to heroism is straight in their minds. To Valjean, a very human hero, the answer was not as clear as a Kodak picture. He would always slave over problems, put himself in mental agony for hours and days, and yet, he would make the “right” decision, which often involved saving someone else at his own expense. The world shamed, stole, scoffed, and laughed at Jean Valjean, and he simply smiled and offered his clothes to the starving villains. Jean Valjean transforms himself into a genius from a poor thief, a philanthropist from a convict, and a loved man from a rejected one. In the final pages of Les Miserables, Jean Valjean dies. Not like the heroic final act of Sydney Carton, nor after leading the charge at the Warsaw Ghetto, but simply because Jean Valjean could not longer bear the adversity that had so dogged him throughout his entire life. During Jean Valjean’s painful and poetic death, I did not cry. I blubbered. Because Jean Valjean was that one hero I wanted to touch.

  14. The best example of a hero from a TV show has to be, hands down, Steve Erkel from “Family Matters.” An unusual choice? Maybe, but Erkel shows every trait that I believe a true hero should have. He is comfortable in his own skin, despite the torment and repetitive rejection he undergoes. Also Steve doesn’t have a loving family but still doesn’t let something that would permanently depress some people get to him, he lives life to it’s fullest and finds a new family in the Winslows. Not to mention that he embraces the inner (and sometimes obviously apparentJ) geekyness in all of us in a lovable way. He figured out how to clone himself!!! How is that not cool?

    My example of the best hero in a book is probably the same as every teenage girl’s in America, Edward Cullen from the Twilight Saga. Edward isn’t exactly the antagonist in these books, but is definitely one of the main characters (in my opinion, he’s depicted as the antagonist for a short period of time in the first book). Throughout the entire series, Edward is constantly fighting between what he wants and what he believes is right, which is a battle that every hero must face at one time or another. Edward is constantly at war with himself on whether or not he should stay with Bella and endanger her life (and at the same time save it) or let her go and be in a suicidal depression but live only for the Bella he can never have. Ironically, Edward ultimately saves Bella with the thing that endangered her life, his vampirism (hahaha, you know what I meant, there isn’t a word for that in the dictionary).

    Naturally I would say that my mother is my hero. She saves lives on a regular basis, raises a family, and manages to make AMAZING food that works around my vegetarianism (another fake word), makes me laugh at her for being extremely obsessive about a clean house, and overall is just a fantastic and caring person. She was diagnosed with type I diabetes when she was nine and has proven herself to be an amazing role model as a former president of the American Diabetes Association. She strives to be an example to others with diabetes of a person who doesn’t let this life threatening disease impact her life.

  15. I love Maximus in Gladiator, he is definitely on top of the cool list, but not quite the hero list. When asked to rule Rome long enough to give it bgack to the people, he chooses to go home to his family. I don’t fault him here but still.

    I think Sam in Lord of the Rings is an amazing hero. He’s the friend that is always there. It’s amazing how he puts up with the least heroic figure ever FRODO and all his whining and issuses all the way to Mordor. Frodo neved takes care of himself he’s always yelling for someone to save him, even his fellow hobbits. Frodo is a sad imitation of a hero in my eyes.

  16. Student #12 (continued)

    My book hero would be Piggy in Lord of the Flies, but he doesn’t have enough action in the book, he could have been though. I guess I’ll go with harry Potter, he does pretty well for a teenage wizard just trying to go through school without someone trying to kill him

    And my real life hero. I would love to say one of my parents but I can’t honestly say that. I’ll go with anyone who volunteers for the Army or Marine Corps. I respect that a lot.

  17. Dictionary.com defines a hero as a man of distinguished courage or ability who is admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.

    For example in Shrek 🙂 when Shrek crossed a bridge with lava under it, fought off a dragon, and saved Princess Fiona. This is the best example of a hero that I can think of simply because he put his life at risk to save Princess Fiona, whom he ironically ends up marrying. Of course, the Prince made him, but he still performed a very heroic act by saving Princess Fiona from life in ‘prison’ also known as the castle she was locked in.

    In Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Caroline is the best example of a hero because even though Dr. Henry asked her to take little Phoebe, a newborn with down syndrome, to an institution and leave her there, she does the noble thing and keeps Phoebe. Caroline raised Phoebe and the two were able to overcome her down syndrome. Caroline truly performed an act of heroism by choosing to give all of her time to a child that wasn’t even hers biologically simply because she wanted to be the better person and not leave poor Phoebe at such an awful institution.

    However, the most heroic person I know is my mom. She is my role model and I hope to be just as strong, talented and successful as her. Even with everything going on in her life, she still manages to put me and my siblings over herself and that inspires me to a whole new level. She is the most amazing woman I know and truly the BEST example of a hero.

  18. I think Peter Parker in Spiderman is the best example of a hero that i have seen. He always thought about his aunt, uncle, friends, and civilians before himself. In my opinion, this is the most important quality that defines a hero.

    The best hero that i have read about is Frodo Baggins from lord of the rings. What defined Frodo as a hero was to continue his journey to complete his task no matter what happened. Without Frodo evil would have consumed the world and even if he is little He made a huge difference. Sometimes just having the will to complete the task is more important than being big and strong.

    I think the best choice for the real life hero would be the firefighters and police officers during 9/11. What distinguishes them as great heroes would be putting themselves in harms way and even sacrificing themselves to help others. I believe they do this because they think it is the right thing to do and they want to make a difference in the world. Helping others who are in great need of help is a quality that is usually common amongst all heroes.

  19. –A hero that stands out to me in a movie would probally be Leonidus in the movie 300. The reason for my picking would be because in this movie Leonidus puts aside his love for his family and for his home life and fights against all odds for his country and for the freedoms of others. He realizes that its his duty to make life better for the others and in the generations to come.

    –A hero that stands out to me in a book is Caroline in the book “A Memory Keepers Daughter”. First of all Caroline changes her “identity” and life around for a needy innocent child. She does what most people dont do….the right thing. Caroline takes this child under her wing after everyone that she had had abandoned her. It takes a true hero and a honest and loving heart to do what Caroline did.

    –A hero in general that stands out to me and first appeared in my mind when I read this was Princess Diana. The reason she stands out to me was because, she changed the way and influenced the way people around the whole world thought. This one women influenced people all around the entire world with her knowledge and her truth. Princess Diana wasnt afraid to tell the royal family what she thought about their lifestyle and how they were running things. She helped give people a voice.Her death influenced and made millions of people stronger by her knowledge and love for the world.

  20. A while back I watched this movie called “Gridiron Gang” and in this movie The Rock played a very inspirational heroic character. In a nutshell this movie was basically about a bunch of inner city “thugs” who were going down the wrong path and were in a juvenile detention center. Ironically they all loved football and the mentors decided that they would form a football team. This football team helped these young men to think about their careers and in the end most of them turned their lives around. The Rock was a hero in this movie because of the fact that he wanted to help these kids out when every one else simply turned their backs on them. He acted as a hero by giving them an alternative and giving them another way to go and another path to follow. He also sacrificed his job and the way his bosses thought about him to see these young men succeed.

    I am going to be honest and say I don’t read too many books but the ones I do read I make sure they have some type of relation to me so I stay on my toes and I don’t get bored. So the story Cinderella has relation to me because I am a princess also! Cinderella feels alone and like she’s not as pretty as her ugly stepsisters… ironic? I think so! When all along, Cinderella was the prettiest maiden in town and was destined to find a handsome prince by fate. This a real rags to riches story, all made possible by one person… her fairy godmother. The fairy godmother is without a doubt the hero of this story because of what she did for Cinderella. She didn’t have to give her a beautiful dress or a pumpkin carriage driven by horses or those beautiful glass slippers. But she did because she saw someone in need and wanted to help, which is a characteristic of a hero.

    In my personal life there is a person who acts in a heroic manner towards me. I’m not going to go with the obvious and say my parents because they aren’t my heroes at all times… oops I probably shouldn’t tell them about that, it would crush their world! My older sister is indeed my hero. She gives me advice about any and every thing. She gives me boy advice, advice about how to handle certain things, advice about clothes and fashion and just about everything else! She also acts as someone I look up to although I am taller than her, ironically… Whenever things aren’t going so well I just call her and she makes every thing so much better. Without a doubt she is my hero.

  21. I think one hero from a movie that really defines the word is Spiderman. What he does is quite valiant. He tries to save the city from such villains as the Green Goblin and others. He also saves many lives.

    A character that defines a hero from a book is Harry Potter. His heroic activities like fighting the evil of Voldemort are very heroic.

    A hero in real life tom me was my uncle. He inspired me to work hard and did great things for the community.

  22. Reading through previous blog entries on this subject, the trend seems to be “male” heroes. I am not sure if this has hit society yet, but we are in the twenty-first century, so women have a right to be on this list as well.

    This blog entry will start out with a very well known heroine, Pocahontas. Many might argue that John Smith is the hero in this tale, but all he did was getting himself caught (referring to the Disney-version). Pocahontas followed in what she believed in and that not what people told her to believe in. Standing her ground against her own people and unknown strangers, takes a lot of courage. And the fact that she was saving a man that seemed he could take care of himself doesn’t change much of the picture. This could also have been viewed as an act of love but, but wasn’t seeing one of her fellow’s death enough motivation, to not only go for the obvious reason of throwing herself between the club and her man? Pocahontas had a choice and she chose the potential painful alternative. Now that is a hero.

    Having always preferred villains over heroes, this was a hard choice. And the best choice would be Addy, from “The Two Princesses of Bamarre”. Addy was the younger of two sisters and therefore the shy, scared and weak one. She then overcomes everything and goes out of her comfort zone, to save her sister from the “grey death”. She also openly wonders whether she should brave a dragon or a mere spider first (it is close enough to say Addy has arachnophobia, if you were wondering: she picked the spider). As for the sister who normally sits in the castle and does embroidery all day, to turn into a Hulk(ess) by slaying dragons and escaping specters, that qualifies her for the title of heroine.

    A personal hero of mine is my best friend, Thery. Thery was born with asthma and a skin condition (which I do not know the name of), and even though she had to endure a lot through school and my constant absence from home, she is always therefore me and she never let anyone back her down. Seeing inhalers are no new sights to me, coincidently both of my best friends have asthma, and Thery had to give up a lot, like swimming pool and many foods like nuts, because of her condition. Ten years of best friendship later and her asthma is barely there and her skin condition is gone. For a girl to grow up and be strong with a ton of cocky bullies around takes a lot of guts, and that’s why she and I are still stuck.

  23. Geez, i didn’t realize how hard this was until I started to write.

    Anyway, I think a hero from a film that is a textbook example is Idiana Jones. Not only does he go on noble and great quests to retrieve artifacts, he also gives back to the community as a college professor. He also has a long line of morals that he abides to, and he would also give his life to protect.

    I think Jack Ryan from Patriot games is a great example of a hero in literature. He reacts instictively to save the lives of the prince and his family from the terrorists. He also worked awy from home and gave up his job as a teacher to find a way to take down the terrorists and to ensure that no on else would be hurt by them.

    As for in real life, it would have to be my older cousin. He works as a cop in Irving, a job that doesn’t pay very well, and which you can be killed in a moment. He essentially risks his life every day, and takes those who would hurt others off the streets before they have a chance to do so.

  24. A character I consider a hero is Bhuvan from Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India. Bhuvan was a citizen in a small Indian village that was struggling with a drought. Despite the lack of crops, the English Captain Russel tells the villagers he will double the taxes owed the British. Instead of resorting to violence, Bhuvan unites the village in a game of cricket. If the villagers win, the tax would be lessened. They manage to overcome their differences and win. Although the movie was very corny, I still saw Bhuvan as a genuinely heroic character. He manages to unite the whole village, including the outcasts, in peace and saves them from the deepening poverty the taxes would have caused.

    I believe that Ponyboy from The Outsiders was very heroic. Even after Johnny killed the soc, he stood by him. After they ran away, he, with the help of Johnny, risked getting caught by the police to save the children in the church fire. I also see Ponyboy’s older brother, Darrel. After their parents died he did all he could to support Ponyboy and Sodapop. He made sure Ponyboy was trying in school and watched over his two brothers selflessly. I seem them both as very heroic, in different and similar ways.

    In “real-life,” the person I find especially heroic is Irena Sendler. She was a social worker in Poland during World War II who saved about 2,500 Jewish children. As the Nazi movement grew, she was suspended from the Warsaw University for her pro-Jewish support. After the Holocaust began, she and her organization worked to save Jewish children from certain death. They provided false documents for the children and hid them in Catholic families or group homes. Hiding a Jew was a sentence of death under Nazi rule. She was eventually captured, tortured and sentenced to death. Her resistance organization saved her life by bribing the Nazi guards. She was left for dead in the woods with broken arms and legs.

    After the war, she was persecuted by the Polish Communist government for participating in the war time resistance and her children were refused a University education. She attempted to reunite the children with their Jewish parents as promised, but most parents had been exterminated in the death camps.

    Whenever she was acclaimed a hero, she replied, “Let me stress most emphatically that we who were rescuing children are not some kind of heroes. Indeed, that term irritates me greatly. The opposite is true. I continue to have pangs of conscience that I did so little…”

    She was truly selfless and not interested the praise, just saving the lives of innocent children. She endured personal danger and torture to stand for her beliefs. This is why I feel Irena Sendler is truly a hero.

    “I am the only person still alive of that rescuing group but I want everyone to know that, while I was coordinating our efforts, we were about twenty to twenty five people. I did not do it alone.”

  25. My definition of a “hero” is someone who acts for some higher cause, such as justice or doing the right thing, even though his actions may cause great harm to his own self-interest. In the movies, my hero is definitely Batman. His struggle with Joker, whose evilness reached new heights in the latest movie, caused him to lose an easy, leisurely, life of wealthy New York gentleman. Still, the leisurely life was not dear to Batman. What was really dear to him was the love of the people of New York—that he was known as the righteous hero. In the end, Batman even gave up that love and became known as the “dark knight” to fight evil.

    Among the books I’ve read, the best hero is definitely Abraham Lincoln. My mom had given me several books about Lincoln, and Carl Sandburg’s The Prairie Years and the War Years was my favorite. I know everyone knows his story, but from time to time I think of different reasons to call him my hero. By my newest definition, Lincoln gave up what was most dear to him, his life, to achieve what was right for his nation and for all the people in his nation. Lincoln had at least two premonitions about having to give up his life. One, as he left Springfield, he said, “… I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return,..” and then the famous, ominous dream. He even told his guards that he has no doubt someone will try to kill him and that if it is to be done, it is impossible to prevent it. (Sandburg, Lincoln, Pg 704) Possessing the certain knowledge of his impending death, Lincoln still went ahead and lead the nation out of the darkness and chaos. Lincoln is a hero by any definition.

    In my life, there are many heroes who have given up things that are dear to them so that I could have a good, productive life. A lot of us who gets to go to this school are recipients of time and money our parents have sacrificed to get the best education, and we all know it. I know I speak for everyone that we are extremely grateful for the opportunity. I want to mention my aunt, my mom’s sister who lives in Oklahoma City. When I was in fifth grade, we got a call that my Aunt Mckinnis was diagnosed with a huge brain tumor. She went through the 15 hour surgery bravely, and survived. She is an extremely smart person (Harvard Law graduate), and having something in her brain must have scared her a lot, but she did not show it to me or my little cousins. She sacrificed her fear so that the children in the family can go through the crisis without fear. She showed me how a brave person handles such an adversity. She is my hero, and a person that has profoundly affected my life.

  26. Not to copy student #17, but the hero I choose is Spiderman. I chose him not because he’s a super hero, but because of his human aspects. For instance, HE’S NOT SUPERMAN. Superman, to me, lacks the human aspects that Spiderman has. Everyone loves Superman. Lots of people hate Spiderman. Superman has a great girlfriend. Spiderman has relationship problems (also, his girlfriend dies). Superman has one weakness: a rock (what’s that all about? allergic to a rock?). Spiderman is HUMAN: thus he isn’t freakishly strong, he can’t fly (his webs sometimes break, etc), and he is beaten by SHEER STRENGTH a LOT. Now maybe I don’t know as much about Superman, but I do know this much. I think Spiderman is a hero because everyone can relate to him, even though we don’t have ‘superpowers’.

    A hero in a book would be Tam Lin from The House of the Scorpion. Tam Lin is flawed and he knows it. He is the bodyguard to a drug lord. But he also has a secret past: he tried to bomb the prime minister, but the attack killed 20 schoolchildren. This haunts him, and he can never escape. I think he’s a hero because he admits his mistakes and regrets them. Yet he is inspired to be more, and to become a better person.

    A hero in real life is my dad. His father was verbally abusive and an alcoholic, and my dad thus did pretty poorly in high school. Yet he was filled with a drive to succeed, and he put himself through college. Now he has an AMAZING job, and happens to be the smartest man in the world (he knows everything). My dad is my hero because he values hard work and knows what things he cares about, and what things are important.

  27. The best hero in a Tv show I have seen would probably have to be Peyton Sawyer in One Tree Hill. She is the best hero in my opinion because she is a fighter who never gives up. She knows what is right and will fight until she wins her battle. She doesnt care what anyone thinks of her and is very confident. Our world would be a much better place if everyone was a hero like Peyton Sawyer.

    In all the books I have read one hero that stands out to me the most is Lilly Owens in “The Secret Lives of Bees.” She is a strong, independent girl who knows she can achieve anything she wants. She might not have the best life but she makes the best out of it in everyway possible. Giving up is defently not in her list of vocabulary and she is completely determined. She has one of the biggest hearts and cares deeply about other people, other then herself.

    The biggest hero in my life probably has to be my mom. She is like my rock and is always there for me. She always puts other people before her and has such a kind heart. I know she would do anything for me and has taught me so many life lessons I will always charish. I would not be the person I am today if it wasnt for her. I love her with my whole heart.

  28. My favorite hero is William Miller from the movie Almost Famous. His ambition and and determination is amazing. I aspire to do great things in life but I want to have a full life. In the movie William is a brilliant young man that does what he loves and does his best. He also deals with a lot of life changing events throughout the film. He comes to realize that is all for the greater good in the end.

    A classic story, To Kill A Mockingbird features another favorite hero of mine, Atticus Finch. He deals with so many problems and still is a truly loving father.

    In my life my hero is the future me. I hope to do what I love to my best ability. I hope to deal with hardships that make me stronger as a person. I hope one day I am a loving father, and I hope I am someone else’s hero also.

  29. I believe the best example of a hero in a movie is Superman. Superman has a gift that he uses for the good of the people and uses it in no other way. He gives 110% towards his efforts and always succeeds. Like a lot of other heroes, he falls in love with a certain someone and is attached to them which is always a key factor to identify most heroes. He is also a very kind person towards everyone.

    Like student #17, I believe that Harry Potter would be a person who defines a hero for many reasons. Harry Potter has something else that not anyone else has. That something is the scar on his forehead, which was from a spell that not a single person has survived all except for him. That scar gives him natural powers that cannot really be explained and gives him an advantage and inner strength to fight off people like Lord Voldemort. He also devotes his time to helping others out and finding out many of the mysterious secrets that are unexplainable.

    A very well known person that sticks out to me the most as a hero is Bill Gates. Bill Gates created the Gates Charitable Organization. He alone with his wife, donate more to this charity then a small country makes in yearly income. He has the record for the greatest amount of money given to a charity which had been six million dollars. That single fact defines a person who cares about everyone and wants to give back to the community.

  30. Alright, I missed out on a lot of entries. Time to catch up as there are some amazing submissions here.

    Student #6 – I am impressed that you picked Aragorn and Sam as the heroes of Lord of the Rings. I’ve also written about the two of them at the expense of Frodo. I think they both show amazing heroic character.

    Student #7 – I saw Son of Rambow this week and I actually thought Will’s story was more typical for a hero’s journey. Lee Carter acted as Will’s mentor in his transformation from lonely bully to happy, loving (and loved) boy.

    Student #8 – I have been having an ongoing argument with two of my friends over Superman. They both see him as the best hero. But like Student #22 I just have trouble seeing the heroic in someone who is nearly invulnerable. Spiderman and Batman both seem more heroic. I don’t think the argument will stop though.

    Student #9 – Oskar Schindler’s sentiment of “not enough” is common among heroes. I liked that you picked heroes that were so intent on doing good for others.

    Student #10 – Your attention on the nameless heroes is great. Those nameless heroes tend to be selfless and humble – two of the most important traits of a hero in my opinion.

    Student #11 – I’d love to know more about your mother’s story. My wife has Type 1 diabetes and we both worked at a summer camp for the ADA that only had Type 1 diabetes kids – 200 at a time.

    Student #18 – You are absolutely correct on the lack of female heroes mentioned and you’ll find that everywhere you go. It’s our job to make sure more of them are talked about because history (and literature) is not on the side of women heroes.

    Student #20 – I can’t believe someone else saw Lagaan. It was recommended to me because of the cricket, but the movie was so cheesy I didn’t even make it to the cricket part.

    However, your mention of Irena Sendler warms my heart. I don’t know if you’re aware, but she died this spring. She was truly an amazing hero and I hope you can share more about her with your class. You can find a lot on the Hero Workshop site (shameless plug).

    I hope that was not too much. I was just really impressed.

  31. LATE SUBMISSION

    The best hero that I’ve ever seen in a movie has to be Robert Neville from I Am Legend. I just can’t imagine how hard it must be for a person to be alone in a huge city with no one except his dog, and is faced with the constant fear if he’s going to be alive to see the next day. On top of all that, he also has to find a cure for a massive infection that has literally wiped out more than 80% of the entire world’s population. I would like to see anybody that has had to endure through such a hardship and NOT be called a hero. As Robert Neville struggles to find a cure for the virus the only things he can rely on are his wits otherwise he could’ve possibly went insane. But the thing that really makes him a hero is his vulnerability. There’s one scene in the movie where Robert gets caught in a trap that was made by the infected humans and got knocked out. By the time he woke up it was almost nighttime and the infected humans had the chance to kill him, although he manages to get away the infected injure his dog during the encounter. Even though Robert was able to save his own life he was forced to kill his most dear and only companion throughout his entire quest, his dog, who was infected. I’ve got to admit that I actually almost cried when I saw that scene… But even though this story is fictional, the fact that Robert Neville is so vulnerable and could be killed at any moment actually brings you down to reality. Most heroes are portrayed as invincible, never able to be killed, and they always win. But Robert Neville isn’t that kind of hero. He was a person who was vulnerable, ended up killing his best friend, and also eventually died on his journey to save, not just one “damsel in distress”, but all of mankind. Robert Neville is indeed the “true” hero in my book.

    In my opinion I think the best example of a hero from a book would have to be Frodo Baggins from the Lord of the Rings. One of the main reasons why I think Frodo a perfect example of a hero is because of his character. When Gandalf the wizard comes and visits the Shire to see him, Frodo willingly sets out with him to destroy the Ring, although Frodo hasn’t the slightest idea of just how great his task is. That is a characteristic of a true hero, someone who won’t hesitate to put his life on the line for the sake of others, or for the fate of humanity in Frodo’s sake. Frodo also never gave up even once, on his quest to destroy the Ring. Sure he must’ve felt like there was no hope or had to endure many hardships along his journey, but despite the fact that all seemed lost Frodo still persevered and kept his promise in the end.

    The best real life human being that has acted in a “heroic” manner in my lifetime has to be Steve Jobs. He’s been able to create so many great products that have made our lives so much more convenient. The invention of the iMac has been a great breakthrough for today’s technology, although PC’s are also great, macs are better overall in the fact that they hardly get any viruses, the system interface is user friendly, and you don’t have to constantly download firewalls, anti-virus protection, and all of that other junk. He’s also created the iPhone, which is the greatest phone out on the market yet due to its ability to enable us to surf the web and chat extremely quickly. It’s people like Steve that are the real heroes of our society, doing their best to think of new and innovative ways to make each and every one of our lives more convenient and enjoyable.

  32. LATE SUBMISSION

    The greatest hero on TV I have seen was Hiro from the television show “Heroes.” He has the genuine desire to help the world and do good. When he is given power he uses it unselfishely, doing good and not commiting many crimes, and as non-violently as possible.

    The greatest hero I have read about in a book was Jack Ryan in Patriot Games, which I read this summer. He jumps unarmed without any knowledge of whats going on into a confrontation with heavily armed men. He remains humble after being honored as few other ever are. And he uses what little everyday power he has to safeguard his family and his world in the ways he can.

    The best hero of my lifetime was Pat Tillman of the Arizona Cardinals. The man gave up millions of dollars to go and risk his life in a foreign land. Faced with riches on the one hand and danger on the other, after seeing the destruction of September 11 he made the choice to do what he could to protect the world. He had opportunities most people can only dream of, and made the decision to leave them behind for the good of others.

  33. Late Reply

    The best hero/heroes from TV would have to be the mighty morphing power rangers. You might ask why, and I would too, but the truth is that i grew up on them so they were kind of my idols for most of my childhood. They were my idols because i saw them as the definition of cool, and I they still are. Although it was incredibly cheesy I still had to rush home to watch it after school everyday, and i must have watched the movie 50 times by now.

    The best hero in any book I have read would have to be the Green Lantern, the good doer in all his green spandex glory. He was my biggest storybook hero of all time, and I still read the comics of him to this day. I always just thought it was cool and funny that his weakness was the color yellow, it almost seems like they were running out of ideas.

    I’m not gonna say that my biggest heroes in real life are people that fought cancer or people who were shot by someone for no reason. I will say, however, that my biggest heroes are the people who stand up for what they do, who work hard and don’t exactly have the best homes or a lot of money. Somehow these people are happier then any of us could ever be and I’m jealous of that because i have more money then them and a better life style, but yet they are some of the kindest, happiest people you will ever meet.

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