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Essay Question: ‘Heroes must fight with enemies in the world but also with their own personal difficulties’. Do you agree?

Heroes must fight with enemies in the world but also with their own personal difficulties, whether they have been deliberately fabricated or have occurred freely. Moreover, it is vital to note that these confrontations with their own personal and very human problems, despite all hardships, is what determines the extent to which they are able to combat their enemies. This concept will be explored through the examination of Orson Scott Card’s 1985 science fiction novel Ender’s Game as well as the 2006 graphic novel The Walking Dead (Book 1 and 2) by author Robert Kirkman and illustrator Tony Moore.
The development of a hero persona and the ability to combat enemies is shaped by encounters with personal hardships, within a fabricated and manipulative environment. Throughout Enders Game the pre-adolescent protagonist, Ender, has his nature and mentality warped by manipulative adults in order to make him into what they perceive, the most effective ‘saviour’ of the human race, only to result in Ender finding an equally as evil force within the battle school. The repeated dialogue at the opening of most chapters, between two unknown officers discussing the necessity of Ender’s submersion in “isolation” (1) and “enemies” (2) is an indication of intentional manipulation and exposure to a set of engineered human problems, in an attempt to turn Ender into the hero they want him to be. Card has further accentuated this idea by imbuing these discussions with ambiguity. No setting is described, neither is the identity of the two men revealed; granting them a sense of enigmatic authority. The alienation and isolation that ...

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...d bringer of justice. The personal human trials that Rick faces render him unable to carry through an even sense of justice “we’re going to hang him” (5). While this hardened judgement enhances his ability to fight and kill evil: threats to his family, it comes at a cost, the cost that ultimately transforms him from an innocent, pure but essentially ‘weak’ hero to an effective, ruthless but flawed hero, in his uncontrollable circumstance.

Through the examination of these two texts it is evidently clear that in order for heroes to face their enemies it is vital that they first overcome personal hardships. This is true of the characters in both novels, as we examine their journey toward hero status. Whether their circumstances come from a manipulative external source or from an uncontrollable string of events, they both will undergo a similar process of development.

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