Throughout history on science fiction and fantasy novels, the hero has always been
portrayed as someone who is more than just your regular human. Someone who has no flaw in their qualities other than compassion, which often causes their downfall. Always, in the end, the hero triumphs over great evil, to the dismay of the villain, and the applause of those he saved. What happens when the hero is superhuman? Is he still a hero? What if he kills the innocent for his own purposes, hunts down those who appear to be good. What then, even if he appears to be doing it for a common good? Is he then considered hero or villain. Roland in Stephen Kings' books, The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger and The Drawing of the Three, portrays non hero like characteristics, which ultimately makes him not a hero. Roland allows all kinds of terrible things to occur. He allows, and in more than one case he commits the act himself, those that he loves to die. Roland slaughters a whole town in his effort to reach the tower. Everything is in his effort to reach the tower, and at this point we know nothing about it. Roland guns down his best friend. This occurs in both Kings' works, and Brownings' poem, Child Roland to the Dark Tower Came.
Roland reaches into our world and draws out to people, as well as killing several other. The killing he does is often senseless, even though he does show mercy at some point, it is only because he believes that the cops he doesn't kill, are our world version of "Gunslinger's."
Does this however grant him the right to do what he does? Is he exempt from what everyone else does? In our own society even law enforcers...
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...utely nothing to him. Roland isn't the hero that people have mistaken him for. He is ruthless, and almost demonic in his cause. He is so dedicated to his cause that it is admirable. What Roland does, he considers to be the right thing. He does not consider consequences or what might happen to others. He only thinks of the tower. He points out that it is almost romantic in the non sexual sense, love, not like the love between a man and a women, but the love between a man and a fine Cuban cigar. While Roland's intentions are good and he hopes that he will do something by finding the tower, he doesn't know what it is, how to find it, or what to do when he does find it. Roland is the protagonist of the story. However he is not the hero. His actions, while noble and true in his mind, are not heroic. He does not deserve that stature of being called a hero.
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