John Lennon

by Dylan Harris from Spotsylvania, Virginia in United States

As an introduction to my essay, I would like to define or put context to the term hero. To me, a hero is someone who either has accomplished something unique and uses his experience to help others achieve their goals or someone who stands up and fights for the good in any ability they can. In these terms, John Lennon is the perfect hero to me. There have always been musicians who have stood out. There was Elvis in the fifties and early sixties and Michael Jackson in the eighties, but one artist who has always stood out to me is John Lennon. John Lennon stood out to me due to his unique heroic characteristics. These characteristics were his strength which allowed him to fight and recover from drug abuse, and his bravery, which allowed him to challenge the Vietnam war through his music. 


147620John Lennon Panting - By Ross Oyer"John Lennon Hand Painted by my boss Ryan Oyer" by ©Moon Photography by Mel is marked with CC BY 2.0.The first heroic characteristic that Lennon had was strength. Now, it's no secret that John Lennon was a great artist, but he also suffered from extreme drug abuse for most of his life. When Lennon was 12 years old, he started smoking cigarettes. As he got older, he started experimenting with other drugs. At the age of 25, he was heavily addicted to marijuana, and by the time he was 30, LSD and many other drugs were extremely common, but after years of those drugs, he became addicted to heroin. Now the difference between heroin and the other drugs is how heroin affects you. Heroin is a much more potent drug and is said to relieve anyone from emotional and physical pain. During this time, Lennon was under heavy pressure from the media as he was seen as the lead singer and songwriter for the Beatles, which was the most prominent band globally. This led him to become extremely stressed and helped fuel his addiction to heroin. One example of this is a quote from Lennon when being interviewed by the Rolling Stones "Heroin. It just was not too much fun. I never injected it or anything. We sniffed a little when we were in real pain. I mean, we just couldn't – people were giving us such a hard time." (Rolling Stones Wenner, Jann S). But as his addiction began to get more serious, Lennon's second son, Shawn, was born. Due to the birth of his son, Lennon started to become clean, and on October 10, 1975, just one day after the birth of his son, he went cold turkey. Cold Turkey is a term used to define a heroin addict who becomes sober by not using heroin and completely cutting it out of their system. Now, this way of getting clean is considered extremely hard and cruel as your body goes into shock without the drug; this could lead to "cardiac arrest, heart failure, hemorrhaging, and many other sides effects." (Ben Lesser The Dangers Of Cold Turkey Detox). Another quote that shows Lennon's strength is from an interview he had with the magazine Rolling Stones. In this interview, Lennon discusses the difficulties of getting sober while using the cold turkey method. "We were full of junk too. I just threw up for hours till I went on. I nearly threw up in Cold Turkey – I had a review in Rolling Stone about the film of it – which I haven't seen yet, and they're saying, 'I was this and that.' And I was throwing up nearly in the number. I could hardly sing any of them, I was full of shit." (Rolling Stones Wenner, Jann S). This quote exemplifies the immense strength Lennon had when fighting his drug addiction. Even when he was throwing up and feeling terrible, he still fought his addiction and became sober up until he died in 1980. 

147621War Is Over Poster - Made famous by Lennon."War is Over! If you want it - John Lennon" by Nesster is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.The final heroic characteristic that Lennon had was his bravery. Lennon showed his bravery through his music as he composed many songs that challenged the Vietnam War. An example of this is his songs; Power To The People, Imagine, Give Peace A Chance, Instant Karma, Whatever Gets You Through The Night, and finally Revolution. One example of this is a quote from his song Imagine. This quote says, "Imagine all the people, Livin' life in peace" (Downtown Music Publishing 1971). This quote shows how Lennon used his music and bravery to protest the Vietnam War during the 1970s as he believed it was wrong and used his large following to voice his opinions, knowing it could get him in trouble. Unlike other artists who protested the Vietnam War, Lennon used his fame to protest differently. Instead, he hosted a "Love In." A "Love In" at the time was when someone famous refused to leave their bed in protest of something. In Lennon's case, he refused to leave his bed in protest of the Vietnam War. This protest helped bring awareness to the war, helping the fight to stop the war. These examples show Lennon's bravery as he stood up for what he believed in, knowing that he could be hated and protested but still protested, knowing it was the right thing to do. 


Overall, Lennon is truly a hero to me as he overcomes a drug addiction using the cold turkey method. This is proven through his strength and bravery, which allowed him to challenge the Vietnam war through his music. Still, his music represents peace and happiness as his message lives on throughout the world. He is truly a hero.


Page created on 4/1/2022 7:11:40 PM

Last edited 4/1/2022 7:18:30 PM

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