Heroism

Kion FinkleyNovember 8th, 2015
ENC 1101-027
Professor Lapinsky
Definition Essay
True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. (Arthur Ashe). I agree with Mr. Ashe that to be truly heroic, one must not be concerned with glory, but focused on self-sacrifice. It is striving, without faltering, to reach your ultimate objective. I believe that heroism is realizing the needs of you or someone else and trying your hardest to fulfill those needs, that it is showing dedication to your quest, and that it is not giving up, even when it is believed the odds are against success. Heroism is trying your hardest, no matter the obstacles, to fulfill the needs of yourself or others. In the poem Moco Limping, by David Nava Monreal, a dog that has a dead leg doesnt let that keep him down. He, chases lethargic bees and butterflies, jumps at his owner with his feeble paws and looks at his owner with eyes that cry out with life (Lines 19-27). The dog recognizes his limitations, and instead of letting them bring him down, he lives his life the same, but reaches for goals within his reach. This is heroic because he does not give up because of his obstacle. Also, a son writes about how his mother, Ana, has an obstacle, but does all that she can to fight it, and does not complain. He says that she fights cancer with a smile and, hasnt let it slow her down either (SB 48). This shows that even though she could complain and give up fighting the disease, she tries her hardest, which inspires her loved ones. In addition, in A Man, the poet describes a soldier who loses his arm while fighting for his country. In the beginning of her poem, she describes the soldiers physical limitations from losing his arm, yet the soldier speaks of compensating for his physical disability with enthusiasm, He set himself to do everything with twice as much enthusiasm. And where the arm had been torn away a wing grew (Line 15). The first part dwells on the thought he can only do half of everything, such as a harvest, either tune or play an accompaniment on a piano, banging on a door, and holding his love. He also points out that he will never be able to applaud. However, he decides, instead of giving up, to double his enthusiasm to accomplish the same tasks.
Examples of heroism are when people, whether characters in movies or books or in real life, dedicate themselves to their quests. For example, in the movie Mulan, the main character wants to help her father by enlisting in the army instead of him, which is impossible according to Chinese law because she is a girl. Though, instead of giving up at this, she decides to pretend to be a man and goes to extremes to keep up her charade. This is heroic because her father, being the only male in his family, had to enlist in the army, yet he was too sick to fight and would have undoubtedly died in the conflict. Also, in the movie October Sky, the main character, Homer, realizes he wants to be a scientist and never gives up in his quest despite all the setbacks, including very little support from loved ones. His heroism inspires people who know him to go after their own dreams. As well as Homer, Fredrick Douglass is a man who never gave up in what he believed in. Fredrick Douglass worked for the fair treatment of all people. This shows heroism because even though he had setbacks, like being physically beaten, he will always be remembered for working his hardest for the welfare of all people.

Heroism is not giving up after you have failed a few times. For example, in the book Odyssey, the main character, Odysseus, is stuck with his men in a cave with a ferocious Cyclopes. Despite his fear and the overwhelming odds against him, he does not give up and let him and his men be killed by the monster. Instead, he uses his wit to come up with a plan to get out, The rams were fat with thick fleeces. . . The middle one was to carry one of my men, with the other two on either side to protect him (SB 37). This is a heroic plan. Because of his unrelenting efforts, he saved his mens lives. In life, there are many times in which people can give up or keep on trying. If people keep on trying, it can result in opportunities they never imagined, like saving lives. For example, in the news a while ago, a plane broke down and the pilot decided to land in the Hudson River. Instead of giving up, the pilot made this extreme decision and saved everyone who was on the plane. Also, there is another hero who never gives up. Ana, a cancer patient continually inspires her loved ones with her dedication and determination to make them feel better and cope with her disease. Anas daughter writes about this; Keep going, keep going, she preached aloud, like a guardian angel above the roaring crowd (Line 4). Ana does not give up and bemoan over her hardship, instead, she gives her family hope by her indomitable will to survive despite all odds against her survival.
Contrary to popular culture, heroism is not all about gaining glory as sometimes portrayed in the media. Heroism can be as personal as fighting ones own struggle to defeat cancer, trying ones hardest to fight the disease, never giving up in the hope of finding a cure, and showing dedication to pursuing treatment despite setbacks . In studying all of these heroic acts, I realized that the performance of heroic acts not only benefit the people for whom they were performed, but also the individual who performed them. The hero will see life differently, not because of the fame, if any, gained from the act, but knowing that they are capable of performing a service to either themselves or others that is meaningful. This empowers them, making them recognize their strengths and ability to problem solve when others have failed, or given up, before even trying. I hope that I have the courage to rise to the level of heroism if ever I am called to do so as were the individuals in fiction and real life I analyzed.

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Works Cited
1.http://www.arthurashe.org/in-his-words.html
Arthur AsheCopyright 2007 – Present. Arthur Ashe Learning Center. All Rights Reserved.

2.http://spectrumof2008.proboards.com/thread/556/lineage-women-ape-moco-limping
3.http://www.biography.com/people/frederick-douglass-9278324
Frederick Douglass, 2015 Bio and the Bio logo are registered trademarks of A&E Television Networks, LLC. Say Entertainment.