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The Battle of Marathon was fought by the Athenians and the Persians. At the time, the Persian were one of the biggest empires of the known world, and because of this the Athenians were not expecting a victory. The Athenians had fewer men than the Persians, and they had almost no help from surrounding city-states. This battle proved to the Athenians that they were as equally great as the Persians, and that the Persians could be beaten (Hanson).
The Athenians were essentially the ‘underdogs’ and that is a common theme used in many books, TV, sports, and movies. The underdogs are the least likely people to ever be victorious, and yet the Athenians were. A common example is the movie Forrest Gump. Forrest Gump is a child who is a slower learner than most and has to wear braces on his legs. Nobody would expect a child with multiple handicaps to achieve and overcome the things he did, but he was able to in the end. The same goes for the Athenians, nobody expected them to be able to defeat a nation who had conquered so many other nations before, and yet they were able to.
Another representation of the underdog theme is evident in the book “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. Many of the characters in this book are underdogs, not just the black house maids. The character Skeeter Phelan is a white women in the 1970s who struggles to find a job because of her gender. Aibileen Clack is an African American maid who takes care of other people’s children, and is seen as a disease because of her skin color. Minny Jackson is abused by her husband. By the end of the book, each character has over come what may have seemed like impossible situations.
Another example of an underdog achieving victory is the Revolutionary War. It may not seem very modern to us now, but it’s still relevant to us today.
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This theme is not just limited to fictitious characters and stories, but many real life situations. The American Dream, where a person who has nothing can go to having everything, is something that is coveted by many people (Pelczar). Many sports teams and athletes are also seen as underdogs.
These true and fiction underdogs are characters that many people root for and wish success for. I believe its human nature to hope for the best for someone who may seem like they have nothing. That is why the Athenians are considered the underdogs. They had less soldiers, equipment, and experience than the Persians, and yet they were able to achieve victory. I also believe this helped in the development of the Athenian Empire.
Hanson, Victor. "Battle of Marathon." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 16 Nov.
Pelczar, Evelyn. "The American Dream Has Always Been About The Underdog." Elite Daily. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2013.
"American Revolution." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2013.