An Unexpected Hero Essay

An Unexpected Hero Essay

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On June 6, 1943, in Greenbow, Alabama, an unexpected hero was born with a crooked spine, a low IQ and strong legs. Forrest Gump is not an expected conventional hero, however his accolades and accomplishments suggest otherwise. A hero is someone who inspires and instills good morals upon others by their courageous and outstanding acts. Forrest demonstrates these characteristics multiple times during his heroic journey. Whether it be diplomatic ping pong, fighting in the Vietnam War, becoming a local football legend at the University of Alabama or donating money to a deceased friend’s family, Forrest influenced many people with his unselfish and charitable acts. Joseph Campbell’s heroic monomyth consists of the following stages: taking place in an ordinary world, a call to adventure, refusal of said call, meeting with a mentor, crossing the threshold, trials and tribulations, an approach to the final challenge, an ordeal, a reward, the journey back, a purification or resurrection into the normal world and a return home with the capabilities to alter the world in which he lives. Many heroes follow this journey and Forrest Gump is no exception.
A hero is defined as: A person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities (Oxford). This definition can be altered to incorporate many perspectives of a ‘hero’. Two person’s idea of a hero may be similar, but the exact identity in their respective perspectives will vary. In my opinion all it takes is an average man laying a coat across a shivering child on the streets to make the leap from average to hero. Forrest Gump is a hero because he takes the extra step, exceeds everyone’s expectations of him, such as when he was young and got ...


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... and a return home with the capabilities to alter the world in which he lives. Forrest met and even superseded all of these ‘guidelines’ of a hero, instilled within Forrest is a unique soul, one of forgiveness, ignorance, passion, love and sympathy for others. Just as Forrest’s mother said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get,” life is full of unexpected turns of events, these unexpected events of an unexpected simple man turned him into an unexpected hero.



Works Cited

"Definition of Hero in English." Hero: Definition of Hero in Oxford Dictionary.
N.p., n.d. Web.
Forrest Gump. Dir. Robert Zemeckis. By Eric Roth. Perf. Tom Hanks, Robin Wright,
Gary Sinise, Sally Field, and Mykelti Williamson. Paramount Pictures, 1994. DVD.
Volger, Chris, and Brad Schreiber. "The Hero's Journey." Storytech Literary Consulting.
N.p., n.d. Web.

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