My Idea of What is a Hero?

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My Idea Of What Is a Hero?

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The Archetype of a Hero and What Defines It
  • Evaluation of What Defines a Hero
  • Conclusion


According to the online dictionary, a hero is “a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability”. My idea of a hero is not just a person who risks their life by entering a building on fire to save a life. Neither is it just someone who dies during combat fighting for his or her country. I am not saying that these are not good examples of being a hero. What I am saying is that there are different types of heroes that exist. For example, it could be anyone who goes against all odds just to get through life. It is someone who is able to keep their head up high no matter how hard they are being beat or pushed down. No matter what brings them down a hero will always get through the pain and at the end of the day they are still living, breathing and surviving.

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The Archetype of a Hero and What Defines It

In our textbook it explains that the term “Hero” is an archetype. Archetypes “are models that allow people to comprehend experience and cope with enormous and often baffling task of being human”. In this same textbook it gives an example of a Hero known probably everywhere. His name is Thor and he is a popular fictional superhero who appears in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. “The original Thor, the Norse god of thunder, appears prominently in Germanic myth, wielding his hammer and serving eventually as a pagan symbol in opposition to the Christianization of Scandinavia; in today’s films, he reappears in New Mexico (land of alien invasion) to vanquish human kind’s enemies”. This quote from the book helped me understand the change from a classic to modern definition of a hero. It tells me that the concept of heroism changes over time but the meaning behind it pretty much still stays the same.

Evaluation of What Defines a Hero

One example I really enjoyed was the Thomas and Friends clip posted on Blackboard. I believe that this is a great example that reflects a modern evolution of a classic definition. I am aware that this particular video is for a younger audience but it just gives out a great message. This video starts off with Edward who is a train that admires a helicopter, Harold, who rescues a sheep. Edward decides that being a hero means that you must be strong, fast, and stern in order to be a good hero. This is one of the ways to define a hero today but later in this same video it tells us another way to define it. Luckily Edward is given the opportunity to act as a “rescue engine” and becomes nervous because he is convinced that he does not have what it takes. A little further into the video we see that Edward comes across another train while he was on his way to complete his rescue mission. We see Charlie who is sad-looking and is suffering from a squeaky wheel. Charlie tells Edward about being late to pick up a group of children and forgetting all his funny jokes. Then Edward kindly shares a funny joke with Charlie which cheers him up. I must admit that this joke was pretty funny and cheered me up as well. Edward is shown leaving and later realizing that he has not been fast or stern. He was just being funny and tells himself that he must act more of a hero. Again, Edward stops when he sees a local Farmer’s dog. He decides that if he is quiet and gentle enough the dog may jump into his cab (which she does). Edward takes him to his owner who is delighted to have his dog back. The farmer assures Edward that being gentle is a good thing to be but Edward again does not think this is very heroic of him. He reminds himself he must be more strong, fast, and stern. Eventually, he arrives late because he has been making stops to help others needing help so he heads back. He passes by everyone he helped and they kept calling him a Hero which confused him. He soon finds out that the reason he is a hero is not because he was fast or strong. It was because he was kind, gentle and funny.


In conclusion, a hero is understood to be different to everyone. For example, my personal hero would be my cousin who I grew up with. She is my mentor and favorite role model. She is always there to help. She doesn’t have any super powers or anything like that but she is an amazing individual who works hard. You know what they say sometimes “not all heroes wear capes”.

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