Essays on the Theme of Heroism

What Makes A Hero?

by Jordan Saunders from Charlotte, NC

Heroes are everywhere. Most of us don't realize the everyday heroes of our lives, so it isn't generally a well known fact. Although, everyone can find at least one figure in their life - a fictional character or an actual person - whose demeanor is an exceptional example of the “hero” role. Those people don't have to have actual, immortal superpowers, such as in the comics and movies, or have some high class control where they can make anything happen with a simple command. Rather so, the virtues of a true hero express a nature that is genuinely strong and good and perseverant. In my point of view, an authentic hero possesses the seemingly immortal abilities of energetic loyalty, relentless determination, and bold courage: all attributes found in the ordinary, everyday people around us.

One aspect of a heroic character is loyalty so energetic that it may overwhelm. One person in my life who deserves to be mentioned is sixth grader Brenna Whitley. Her ongoing loyalty and constant giving holds her at the very apical of the ideal friend. If she ever happens to catch someone she knows in the halls of her busy middle school, Brenna never reconsiders dropping her load and running to the target in order to pursue a vigorous embrace. Brenna would never abandon a fellow student, whether they are a friend of foe, and she works endlessly to solve their problem. To present a sample of her steadfast loyalty, I was in the middle of writing my science homework at rehearsals for Madagascar Jr. I had taken off the paperclip that attached my notes together, which Brenna soon found and thought of as unneeded. She bent up the paperclip into my first initial and was soon to realize that I was still using the clasp. Only a couple of days later, Brenna spotted me in the hall. There, she gave me another paperclip in perfect shape to make up for the one she abolished. Possibly no one else I know would go out of their way to make up such a measly mistake as bending up a wire. Brenna is that ecstatic person whose dependable charm is one that everyone longs for in a companion, and I’m overjoyed that she’s mine. Speaking of a person that is dear to my heart, moreover, someone else who displays radical loyalty, is my amazing aunt, Julie. She works at a Chico’s in Hickory for hours on end, as well as constantly watching over my grandparents’ health and ‒ if that isn’t enough ‒ deals with the job of being a pastor’s wife. Julie rarely, if ever, has any free time to do her favorite activities, such as cooking and crafting. The alternative endeavors she chooses to pursue are beneficial to her family, and she continues to do only what helps a loved one's urgency. Around Christmastime, Julie was plagued with several obligations relating to my grandpa; one, I believe, was driving him all the way to Charlotte to his doctor's appointment. Yet, the very same day these plans were held, she kept her promise and willingly drove me to the mall to shop for Christmas presents. These examples, however, are only limited views of their wonderfully loyal characters.

In addition, a characteristic that should be in every hero is steadfast courage. There is simply no one that exemplifies this feature better than my good friend, Savannah Jounce. There are countless reasons how one could be jealous of her, such as her brilliant smarts and her strong faith. The past couple years have been a bit rough for her, last year probably being the worst. Though I am not going to get into any particular detail, I will say that some aspects of sixth grade were certainly bumpy ‒ which lead to a couple of pervasive doubts about who she is. With her family and her two best friends that love and support her, however, Savannah punches life in the face and bravely stomps past the rocky roads. One thing that makes me glad to have a friend like her is that she is empathetic towards those who face similar hardships. Last year I was going through a complication with a friend, so Savannah explained her current troubles to show me that I wasn’t alone. She is always persistent in her difficult walk, pushing through rough days like steel. If Savannah does not define a courageous hero, I’d have to say that I am not sure who else does.

Determination ‒ real, relentless endurance ‒ is the last trait that demonstrates a hero in my eyes. Not only can determination be expressed in real people, such as the people I have already discussed, but ordinary characters in movies and books can also show what it is like to be regularly heroic. Take Casey Newton, for instance, from Disney’s Tomorrowland. In the film, Casey’s dad works for NASA in a project to completely demolish the astronomy platforms that ignited her love for the stars. She knew that if the government were to tear them down, people just like her would refrain from experiencing the curiosity she once had. So, every night she would secretly sneak out and dewire the construction cranes in hopes of stopping the demolition. When her brother asks about her actions, Casey replies, “That would make me a criminal… But, if someone else did it, I’d have to assume they believed even the teeniest of actions could change the future.” Despite disobeying her dad and the government, she stands up what for what is right for fellow dreamers and persistently moves forward. Not too long after that sequence, Casey is caught by the police for her sabotage and is then taken to the police department. There, she finds a curious pin that transports her to the city of Tomorrowland. However, when the pin mysteriously stops working, Casey endlessly scours for clues as to why it delayed in its incredible transit. Even after finding her help from genius-minded Frank Walker and an animatronic named Athena, Casey continues to strive to discover how she can create a great, big, beautiful tomorrow.

Furthermore, the character of Donald Zinkoff from Jerry Spinelli's novel, Loser, thoroughly depicts what it truly means when, quoting the back cover, “any name can someday become 'hero.’” It is plainly seen that Zinkoff is determined over every little thing that approaches him throughout the entire novel. From delivering pretend mail to his neighbors on Sundays with his dad to battling an imaginary Furnace Monster in his dark, menacing cellar, Zinkoff never loses sight of the importance of getting the job done and pursuing the tasks scattered on the road ahead. Moreover, the climax of the novel is Zinkoff’s discovery of the disappearance of his neighbor, Claudia, a toddler who wandered off that evening. Zinkoff is destined to find the missing baby, to face his most dastardly challenge he has ever experienced. But, it’s the middle of a ruthless winter, and an icy blizzard attacks Zinkoff in his nonstop, unbroken four-hour search for Claudia until he finally passes out in the snow. He soon is explained to by his parents that Claudia was found shortly after she was missing and that she didn't go possibly as far as Zinkoff had. Though this is extremely ironic, Zinkoff is willing to fight at anything to tackle the unknown. Both Casey and Zinkoff determinedly push the boundaries of their comfort zones to defend who or whatever needs to be saved.

When regular, everyday people’s integrity, bravery, and perseverance shine through, their heroism seems to compare with that of the champions. Many people do not regard themselves as heroes because either they don’t try or they don’t believe they are good enough to be “heroic.” Despite those thoughts, heroes are more than just stereotypical figures with controlling positions. Instead, heroes are simply normal beings who do not look for opportunities to publicize themselves, but rather strive to weaken the borders to positively affect those around them. I am very happy to be explaining the heroes in my life and what they have done for me and my peers, and I am sure that a couple of the people I listed might have been referenced by my other classmates, as well. This has reminded me that I should remember to seek the heroism in my own self: to influence those to make a difference with just a simple action of kindness. With that, I will conclude that heroism is not in the fame of oneself, but it is of the actions of the heart.


Page created on 3/12/2019 5:34:08 PM

Last edited 4/4/2019 6:32:55 AM

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