The definition of a hero is not straight-edged. Heroes are, however, imagined to possess certain qualities. Courage, romanticism, charming beauty, and a willingness to defy society are four very prominent characteristics amongst heroes and contribute to today's notion of heroism. In order to decide if and to what extent any character lives up to the standards of heroism, one must search for these qualities.
Huckleberry Finn, Daisy Miller, and Sister Carrie are three heroes from three different novels. It has already been decided that they are heroes. Therefore, the question is not whether or not they are heroes. The question is to what extent do they fit this notion of heroism? To what extent do they possess courage, romanticism, noncompliance, and beauty? As their characters? are searched and examined, one will discover that each may be a little brave, romantic, rebellious, and attractive, but they all fall short of the complete hero. Huckleberry Finn is brave, but he lacks romanticism and beauty and caves into society?s pressure. Daisy Miller stands firm when society tells her to change, but she lacks real courage, romanticism, and beauty. Lastly, Sister Carrie is beautiful and romantic, but she is neither courageous nor willing to resist society?s influences. The three characters ? Huck, Daisy, and Carrie ? overcome some obstacles and attain heroic qualities, while other obstacles hinder them.
Huckleberry Finn, hero of Mark Twain?s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, possesses courage, one of the four main pillars of a heroic building. However, his building does not stand tall because he lacks the other three pillars. His foundation is not sturdy. He, like all of the characters, falls short of the heroic ...
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...use he is a victim to his environment. On one page he is Huck and on the next he is ?Tom Sawyer.? And then there is Carrie, the imitator. Her final profession as an actress perfectly fits her character. Daisy is the only one who stays true to her character. She may just be a daisy, but she is a dependable daisy. Her character is consistent, and, therefore, one can trust that the heroic qualities she does possess will persevere in any conditions, even if unwavering means death.
Dreiser, Theodore. Sister Carrie. New York: Bantam Books, 1982.
James, Henry. Daisy Miller. England: Penguin Books, 1986.
Twain, Mark and Thomas Cooley, ed. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Norton Critical Edition. 3rd ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1999.
?Heroism.? Online Dictionary. February 2005. Internet 12 February 2005. Available .
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