Joan of Arc

by Molly from Vermont

Joan of Arc, a Leader from Orleans (1412-1431)

I believe a hero is a person with many different qualities such as: strength, hope and determination. These qualities are important in a hero because they make us feel we can make a difference if we live by these qualities. A true hero is someone who can show us that we can change our communities and improve human lives if we just follow our hearts and stand up for what we believe in. Joan of Arc was a true hero to me because of all the challenges she overcame to lead a French army against the British who had laid siege to the City of Orleans.

Joan of Arc was burned at the stake (
Joan of Arc was burned at the stake (

Joan wasn't a hero her whole life. When Joan was young she was just a farm girl living a regular life away from troubles and the war, until one day Joan heard a voice while she was working in the garden. The voice told her she had a duty to fulfill that would make a big difference, as big as life and death. Joan believed the voice to be God, whom she looked up to to guide her. For the rest of Joan's life, the voices she heard became her guide. Some believe Joan may have been clairvoyant - that is, a person who has knowledge of events happening far away or in the future. In 1425, Joan was sought out by the Dauphin (Prince Charles) who had heard of her unusual powers. His reign as king was in turmoil and, in desperation, he listened to the young girl who had just arrived at his castle in Chinon. At first he was doubtful, but the more he listened, he realized Joan's unusual powers. He granted her command of the troops and sent her off to battle. It took Joan just ten days to break the siege of Orleans. Joan's determination made her want to go and free the capital, Paris. Charles was now king, and he was doubtful that this would be possible.

In May of 1430, the Burgundians captured Joan at Compiege. Although important prisoners could bring high ransoms, the English were determined not to give her up to the French. Joan was burned at the stake on May 30, 1431. The Pope annulled the charges in 1456.

Joan of Arc showed us that she was a hero through her strength. Joan was strong because even though she was shot in an earlier battle against the British, she was strong enough to continue giving out encouragement to her fellow soldiers. Joan's strength and determination showed soldiers that if they worked hard and fought a fierce battle, victory was possible.

Joan not only showed she was a hero through her strength, but also through her sense of hope. Joan was hopeful because even though she was a French army leader, she still hoped she would have someone to look up to. When Joan was upset and having a rough time, she would always hope her saints would be there for her to guide her along the way. Joan was very religious. Joan grew up as a devout Catholic under the strong influence of her deeply religious family.

Finally, Joan was determined. Joan was determined because when Joan was just a young girl living a regular life away from troubles and the war, she heard voices calling down to her. She believed they were God, telling her she had a duty to her country. Joan told villagers and her family about the voices she had been hearing. She told them the duty she needed to fulfill and she told them that if she was needed by God, then so be it. Joan's parents believed the voices Joan was hearing were rubbish and wouldn't allow Joan to go on her quest. Joan would not give up until her parents gave in and her wish to lead the French army against the British had been granted. Joan's parents finally gave in and Joan was off to reach fulfillment. Joan worked hard to get her parents to let her lead the French army against the British. In the end, her wish was granted. Through this action, Joan set an example and demonstrated that you can achieve success if you have enough determination and willpower.

Joan of Arc was a true hero. The love that came from her heart for her country must have been very strong. France is still very proud of this hero. If it wasn't for Joan of Arc, there might not have always been such a large France. The boundaries might have been different. One of the most remarkable things of all was that Joan was a woman, a woman who still stands out in history as a great hero. I am very proud of this hero, not only for being the woman who fought the British to save the country she loved, but for being the woman with these three wonderful qualities: strength, hope and determination.

Page created on 8/28/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 8/28/2011 12:00:00 AM

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