Literary Heroes


by Carley from Pickerington

"Once upon a time three boys were lost at sea. One almost drowned. One almost went crazy. One fell off a cliff." -M.H. Herlong
This is the cover of the book.
This is the cover of the book.

The word hero can mean many things. A hero can be a family member, celebrity, or even a fictional character. I think the term "hero" is overrated and overused by people who don't really understand what the word means. Role model and hero usually go together when you talk about one or the other, but they are very different. A role model is someone who inspires you to live your life the way they would, while a hero is someone personally in your life that has had a major impact in it.

I guess to some people it is important to have a hero, but to me it's not necessary. It would be nice to have a hero but you don't really need one for your life to be complete. For some people their life is fine and secure and they have no worries so their idols tend to become their heroes. For others their hero could be a doctor, police officer, or even a firefighter. Those are pretty stereotypical heroes to list but I think that's because they are the people who affect our lives the most.

Ben's sailboat might resemble this one.
Ben's sailboat might resemble this one.

In The Great Wide Sea," the main character Ben acts as the hero of the story. After Ben's mom dies in a car accident, his dad feels like Ben and his two younger brothers, Gerry and Dylan, need some "Happy and adventure" (3). Their dad sells the family house and buys a boat for all the family so sail round the Caribbean for a year. After their dad goes overboard in the middle of the night and is missing, the brothers have to find a way to survive on their own. Ben acts as captain of the ship and their boat crashes on an island after a terrible storm. There is very little food and water on the island for all three of them to survive so Ben takes responsibility. He is able to be a good leader and eventually ventures out alone on a dingy to look for necessary help help after one of his brother's lives is at stake.

Ben should be put into a hero hall of fame because he is a hero. He risked his own life on the slight chance that there might be help on another island or the possibility of a boat passing by. Another reason is when he jumps off the boat in the dark to save his youngest brother Gerry after a wave knocked him off the boat. Lastly he gives up his own hatred for someone to be with the people who truly matter to him, his family.

Carley: "So, Ben, many people consider you a hero, who would you say is your hero?"
Ben: "Ummm, well I guess I'd have to say my brothers because they had to endure the challenge of being lost on an island without food and water and still made it through."

c: "Before your start of the sailing trip, you turned 16 and wanted to get a car, what kind were you thinking of getting?"
b: "At first I wanted an SUV, but now I just want a boat of my own because I really like to sail."

c: "What were your thoughts when you were stranded on the island?"
b: "Mostly just to survive. I was worried about my brothers and getting food and water, and if we would ever get rescued."

c: "Do you still keep in contact with the captain that saved you?'
b: "Not really, I sent him and his crew a thank you note and to say we were all okay. He sent back that he was glad we were all okay and if i needing anything he's there. That's all that's been said to each other since we were rescued."

c: "So judging by the fact that you haven't talked since then is it safe to say things are alright now?"
b: "Yeah, Dylan and Gerry are still in school and hang out with their friends and I'm in college now."

c: "Which college are you studying at?"
b: "Florida State, since it's close to where I live and so I'm close to the water."

c: "Is there any possibility of you and your brothers ever sailing in the ocean together again?"
b: "Yeah it's already happened before, well me and Dylan have at least. Gerry is still really scared of the water, but we're trying to settle his fears."

c: "How do you plan on doing that?"
b: "We've been taking him to pools, swimming lessons, and to the beach a lot especially since it's summer."

c: "Are there any summer memories that really stand out to you?"
b: "One summer me, my mom, and brothers went to the lake near our house and stayed there all day and just played in the water and ate on the shore. It's not anything too exciting, but it's one of the memories of mom that I can clearly remember."

c: "This is the end of the interview, is there anything else you'd like to say?"
b: "Just to always know what the risks and possibilities of anything major that you're getting in to so you're always prepared."

Page created on 4/7/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 4/7/2011 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Author Info

The book title is "The Great White Sea" by M.H. Herlong.