With fear comes courage, with experience comes bravery, and with pain comes strength. One may assume that these traits are the exact characteristics a hero. However, heroism can come in many different forms. Victor Frankenstein, from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Beowulf exemplify many different traits of heroism.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others.”-MLK Jr. In the book A Lesson Before Dying, Ernest J. Gaines explores the relationship between a student and a teacher in Bayonne, Louisiana, in the 1940s, and how their actions affect the society they are living in. Jefferson, a young black man, is accused of a murder, and is sentenced to death because of his race. Miss Emma, Jefferson’s godmother, wants Grant Wiggins, an educated black teacher to “make him a man” before Jefferson dies. Even though Grant was reluctant that it would amount to anything, but he gave his word that he would try, and soon after a couple of visits to the jail, Grant starts to develop a bond with Jefferson. As the book progresses, Jefferson learns that you need to take responsibility for your own actions, you should always be humble, one should never submit their dignity no matter the circumstances, and always remember that even heroes are not perfect.
Jefferson exemplifies the young black male who has internalized into self-hatred the hatred shown him by white racists. Because of his court-appointed attorney 's racist remark, he sees himself as a beast — not worthy of the dignity and respect due all human beings. His lack of self-worth and self-esteem is a major factor in his apathy and defeatist attitude. In order to reach him, Grant must first break through the barrier of his self-hate.
Heroes and Heroines "Who the heck are you?" Victor Frankenstein cried. "What the heck are you?" "I am the wretch created by your beloved Elizabeth," cried the vaguely female wretch. "Elizabeth has passed the limits of the human realm and in her feverish pursuit of the essential knowledge of the world she has spawned the being that you now see before you! " "And what do you want from me, you frightening monstrosity whom my innocent and sheltered eyes should never have been made to look upon?
Who is a hero? In contemporary times, usage of the term has become somewhat of a cliché. Over the years, the term “hero” has become representative of a wide variety of individuals, each possessing differing traits. Some of the answers put forth by my colleagues (during our in-class discussion on heroism) as to whom they consider heroes pointed to celebrities, athletes, teachers and family members. Although the occupations differed, each of their heroes bore qualities that my classmates perceived as extraordinary, whether morally or physically. Nonetheless, Webster’s defines “hero” as “a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities.” Thus, it is worth considering that individuals become heroes relative to the situation with which they’re faced.
If you watch modern movies you will find that these times it is quite easier to be a hero than it was fifty years ago. The world gives us multiple opportunities to proves ourselves and give us the self-satisfaction of being able to say you are a hero. But what is a hero? Grant says, “A hero is someone who does something for other people. He does something that other men don’t and can’t do. He is different from other men. He is above other men. No matter who those other men are, the hero, no matter who he is, is above them.” (193) Obviously Grant matches his own description of a hero. He proved himself a hero by counseling Jefferson while being a teacher with “more than enough” problems of his own.
Summary: This story is about racism in the south and how it affects the people it concerns. It starts out with Jefferson being sentenced to death for a crime that he did not commit. He was in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and because he was black, they assumed he did it. Grant Wiggins is told to go up to the jail and convince Jefferson that he is a man. At first he doesn’t know how to make Jefferson see that he is a man, but through visiting Jefferson, talking to Vivian and witnessing things around the community, he is able to reach Jefferson, convince him that he was a man.
Ernest J. Gaines accuses the legal injustice against the black population through an innocent convict, Jefferson's death in A Lesson Before Dying. However, Gaines penetrates the fact that the legal injustice is rather a result than a cause. Behind the unfair legal system, a huge matrix of the cultural injustice, which always already presumes the colored people as criminals, does exist. Gaines, thus, puts more stress on Jefferson's transformation from a "hog" to a man. Unbinding himself from the humiliating self-notion, a cultural construction in a white ruling society, and establishing his own humanity, Jefferson exemplifies the potentiality of black empowerment against the prevalent racial injustices.2 Gaines's insight and craftsmanship, which channel the legal injustice into the cultural frame, make the novel an outstanding masterpiece of the century.
The struggles of Grant and Jefferson share a common theme, man’s search for meaning. Grant has the advantage of a college education, and while that may have provided some enlightenment, he remains in the same crossroads as Jefferson. Grant sees that regardless of what he does, the black students he teaches continue in the same jobs, the same poverty and same slave-like positions as their ancestors. Grant has no hope of making a difference and sees his life as meaningless. Though Jefferson’s conflict is more primal, it is the same as Grant’s struggle. Jefferson is searching for the most basic identity, whether he is man or animal. It is this conflict of meaning and identity that bring Grant and Jefferson together.
...teristics and literary devices. The general archetypical description of a hero follows an outline of a muscular figure and super abilities. Yet on the contrary, in myths, heroes may not possess any of those traits. Whether the so-called hero is learning their lesson, overcoming struggle or even descending into darkness, all heroes share some similar and almost identical characteristics. A vast majority of all mythological heroes share the same basic idea which, helps audiences identify whether or not the character is indeed a hero or not. From story to myth or fairytale to drama, the hero is one character who changes the plot entirely. Whether that hero may be saving a burning building, or discovering who they are themselves, our heroes all give us hopes and dreams that one day even our worth will be recognized by ourselves and others as our admirable hero’s are.