American Heros in Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff Essay examples

American Heros in Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff Essay examples

Length: 997 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

American Heros in Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff

Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff depicts the lives of some of America's hottest pilots and its first astronauts. These men include Pete Conrad, Chuck Yeager, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Shirra, Alan Shepard, Gordon Cooper, Scott Carpenter and Deke Sleyton. Some of these men were hotshot test pilots at Edwards Air Force Base, and some flew cargo planes. Some had impeccable service records, while others hadn't flown in a real dog fight for even a second. Despite these differences in backgrounds and credentials, Tom Wolfe turns each of these nine men into a separate and individualized hero.

Chuck Yeager and John Glenn are probably the most memorable of the nine pilots in The Right Stuff. Chuck Yeager was a hillbilly from West Virginia, who by the age of 22 had 13 1/2 "kills" in World War II. Yeager made a name for himself by being the first man to reach Mach 1, the speed of sound.

John Glenn was an all-American Marine pilot. Glenn was a religious family man who was ready to do anything he could for his country. He became the poster boy for America's Mercury Project.

Yeager and Glenn are two fine examples of American heroes of the 1950's and 1960's. In The Right Stuff, Wolfe presents these men in such a way that the excitement they started is rekindled. Wolfe uses many tools in his recreation of these real-life heroes, including entertaining anecdotes, the characters' own words and thoughts, and the opinions of others.

In several instances, Wolfe uses anecdotes to reveal parts of a character's personality or to show his influence upon others. One example of this occurs when Wolfe mentions that the voices of airline pilots are modeled after the voice of Chuck Yeager. Wo...

... middle of paper ...

...nks to himself, "What the hell was he talking about. I don't think any of us could really go on with something like this...What possible difference could a wife's attitude make about the opportunity for a giant step up the great ziggurat" (95). This thought again shows the other six astronauts' perception of Glenn as an outsider. He didn't follow the rules of those who had the right stuff; he was stealing the show and directing the attention away from them.

Tom Wolfe is a master of recreating the people and events of the Mercury Project. In The Right Stuff he brings out all the excitement that each astronaut produced during the era. He uses anecdotes, the characters's own words, and the opinions of others to separate the characters and present each as an individual hero.

Works Cited:

Wolfe, Tom. The Right Stuff. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1979.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Courage is The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe Essay

- Courage is The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe Tom Wolfe's novel The Right Stuff, gives an accurate description into the lives of the first astronauts and rocket-powered aircraft test pilots, from their careers before, during, and after their selection to become astronauts, through to their private home lives. All throughout his book, Wolfe refers to "the right stuff" and "this righteous stuff" without ever saying upfront what "the stuff" really is. I have concluded that throughout the story, "the right stuff" is simply courage....   [tags: Tom Wolfe]

Strong Essays
959 words (2.7 pages)

Analysis Of The Book ' From Bauhaus On House ' By Tom Wolfe Essay

- In his opinionated book, From Bauhaus to Our House, Tom Wolfe describes his views on the way architecture has framed our modern world. He frames his book long essay with an excerpt from America the Beautiful, "O Beautiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, has there ever been another place on earth where so many people of wealth and power have paid for and put up with so much architecture they detested as within thy blessed borders today. . . . Every child goes to school in a building that looks like a duplicating-machine replacement-parts wholesale distribution warehouse ....   [tags: World War II, United States, Modernism]

Strong Essays
766 words (2.2 pages)

Summary of Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff Essay

- Tom Wolfe writes in the book “The Right Stuff” about early jet pilots that demonstrated extreme bravery, and behaviorisms that enabled them to be part of a furtive group of individuals. It has been said that these men usually assemble in groups among themselves in a way that solicited the men to be a part of a privileged membership. It is these pilots with proven courage, and abilities that will go forward testing the next barrier; space. These tried and tested men have willingly placed themselves in danger day in and day out yearning for the spot up the ladder to the top of the pyramid....   [tags: the right stuff]

Strong Essays
711 words (2 pages)

Essay on The American Dream By Thomas Wolfe

- The term “ The American Dream” has a few meanings, but one of the most popular is “ Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (Declaration of Independence) which is the dream that most Americans strive for. In other terms, The American Dream is the opportunity of the pursuit of freedom, opportunity and joy of needs and wants. As Thomas Wolfe said, “ every man, regardless of his birth, his shining, golden opportunity ...the right to live, to work, to be himself, and to become whatever thing his manhood and his vision can combine to make him” (Wolfe)....   [tags: United States]

Strong Essays
755 words (2.2 pages)

The American Dream By Thomas Wolfe Essay

- Thomas Wolfe said, " every man, regardless of his birth, his shining, golden opportunity ... the right to live, to work, to be himself, and to become whatever thing his manhood and his vision can combine to make him" (“The American Dream”). On June 16, 2015 Donald Trump introduced his shining, golden opportunity. The real estate industry tycoon, billionaire, and TV celebrity officially kicked off his presidential campaign in his New York City landmark building, Trump Tower (DelReal). "Make America Great Again!" is the official campaign slogan....   [tags: Empire State Building, New York City]

Strong Essays
731 words (2.1 pages)

Tom Wolfe’s: O Rotten Gotham Essay

- Tom Wolfe’s: O Rotten Gotham “It got to be easy to look at New Yorkers as animals, especially looking down from some place like a balcony at Grand Central at the rush hour Friday afternoon.” (Tom Wolfe). “O Rotten Gotham” argues that New Yorkers are in a state of behavioral sink. It would not be long before a “population collapse” or a “massive die off”. Throughout the article, Wolfe made his opinion clear. He believes everything New Yorkers go through is unhealthy and inhumane. Humans were compared to rats using the overcrowding, the ways of life, and the filth as examples....   [tags: New York City Literature Transportation Essays]

Strong Essays
1150 words (3.3 pages)

The Colored Museum, By William Wolfe Essay

- In The Colored Museum, Wolfe suggests that people should claim and honor their cultural baggage. However, de does it while disclosing how difficult that may be for an African American through a series of characters. I believe Wolfe exhibits this with characters struggling with stereotypes, susceptibility, and acceptance. Characters such as Janine, LaWanda, and Aunt Ethel show the struggle of African Americans dealing with stereotypes and how those false identities influence whether they claim or trash their baggage....   [tags: African American, Black people, Negro]

Strong Essays
1111 words (3.2 pages)

Mightier Than The Sword : Uncle Tom 's Cabin And The Battle For America Essay example

- Mightier Than the Sword: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the battle for America, is a book written by David S. Reynolds. Reynolds is the Bancroft Prize-winning author of Walt Whitman’s America and a Distinguished Professor of English and American Studies at the graduate Center of the City University of New York. This intensely researched work by Reynolds is a reflection on Harriet Beecher Stowe’s life, the development of her book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the most influential novel ever written by an American and its direct effect on American culture, democracy, politics, social events and the impact not only on the abolitionist movement but also traces to the American Civil War....   [tags: American Civil War, Uncle Tom's Cabin]

Strong Essays
1130 words (3.2 pages)

Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the American Civil War Essay examples

- Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Civil War      Uncle Tom’s Cabin played a big role in starting the only war that was fought entirely on American soil. There were many factors that led up to the Civil War, but Uncle Tom’s Cabin turned the anger caused by the fugitive slave act into moral outrage which was then fueled by cases such as John Brown and Dredd Scott.      The Fugitive Slave Act was seen by many Northerners as a violation of their personal freedoms. Why should any Northerner be forced to miss work and leave their family to take a runaway slave back to their master....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin Essays]

Free Essays
376 words (1.1 pages)

African American Response to Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

- African American Response to Uncle Tom's Cabin     Many African American 19th Century critics saw Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin as a ray of hope and a means out of oppression. Critics praised the dialogue, the interjected sentimental stories, as well as the characterization. In fact, many considered the novel to be a gift from God. Uncle Tom's Cabin was the only popularized writing at the time that touched upon slavery as negative. The novel was popular in general but more importantly to African Americans....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin Essays]

Free Essays
1197 words (3.4 pages)