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Heroes and Antiheroes

Powerful Essays
Heroes are often described as physically attractive, strong, intelligent figures with a flair for grand gestures,and an eloquent knack for stringing words together. The fundamental aspects of what defines a hero are conveniently glazed over. People forget that heroes often lead lives of quiet determination. When they have an idea, a goal they want to accomplish, they ignite a spark within themselves that burns into an uncontrollable blaze, which that can only be tamed by success. The fabricated image of a hero has been so deeply rooted into society that the quiet heroes in literature, such as Jefferson from A Lesson Before Dying, are often forgotten, or the misdeeds of cowards such as Frankenstein are overlooked. Jefferson is the literary foil for Victor Frankenstein, because he has strongly built morals that enable him to become a hero, whereas Victor Frankenstein is a weak willed and indecisive character. A hero is defined by their ability to go through with a task despite the obstacles that lie in their way, along with their courage and ultimately, they accept any responsibility that may befall them.
Jefferson is a hero for the black community because he perseveres and makes a stand for them in his final moments, while Victor Frankenstein immediately abandons the creature he toiled over for years, due to its unsightly appearance. Jefferson’s sacrifice for the black community is heroic, because he has no emotional connection to the majority of them. However, he realizes that his death has power to unleash hope; a great force with unstoppable momentum.By discarding the label of a ‘hog’ thrust on him by a white lawyer, he can give people hope. If he, the lowest of the low can discard the fetters thrust upon him by the w...

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...ak sense of duty so greatly maimed by fear, that it is virtually nonexistent.
Jefferson is the epitome of a hero, for the harmonic blend of his Unfortunately, Victor Frankenstein is the exact opposite. He must look after the creature in whatever capacity he can; he unknowingly accepted that responsibility the moment he began his foray into galvanism. However, his cowardice taints any semblance of persistence and responsibility he has. Heroism is not about battling external challenges as much as fighting personal demons. Heroism is about battling the internal beast within oneself; fighting the natural human desire to take the easy way out. Jefferson successfully defeats his base condition, where Victor Frankenstein entirely succumbs to them.True heroes are rare, for heroism exceeds the bounds of personal glory and gain, which is the very embodiment of a human being.
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