Our Forgotten Heroes: Why Heroes Have Lost Their Value and Significance in Society

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Recently social media lost their collective minds when the news of an unidentified man who saved a family of four from a burning building. Throughout social media people are claiming he should be considered for the Australian Hero of the Year award. But why? the concept of a hero comes from a preference of certain features or attributes that are considered heroism. The perception of hero comes from their emotional love for that certain individual. English texts represent multiple version of a heroic behaviour a grown man who leaves his family behind and goes to space to save humanity who is Joseph Cooper from ‘Interstellar' or a warrior who rips a demons hand of and becomes talk of the town who is known as Beowulf.

In the forms of the Anglo-Saxon literature the common opinion with Beowulf was that his status as hero was glorified due to him defeating Grendel bare boned. Whereas if Joseph Cooper defeated Grendel with appropriate attire it slightly diminishes his act of heroism. Those were common views which utterly split opinions. Being bare boned represents a sense of ruthlessness like it shows whether the ins are individual is confident compared to wearing Armor or a full body suit. If clothing can change whether an individual is an hero then why do use this term. Our society has forgotten the true value of heroes we are caught up too much in the likes of Superman, Batman, and Hulk. The modern world is stuck on an idea that a hero must wear a mask or costume but what about the people who are staying up all night making sure the patients are fine or the people risking their lives to get rid of the criminals on the streets. We surely have forgotten them, right?

Joseph Campbell had a proposal that all heroes share the same journey his proposal is known as the Hero’s journey that has formed the groundwork for all heroes ever since. The heroes journey template is a wonderful way of analysing the cultural ideas of how diverse cultures view heroism. A good reason to use the Hero’s Journey it’s a great way to understand how those stories are relevant to us and the modern day the belief of a hero is that they put their life in risk for the greater good. Joseph Campbells Hero Journey template is completely outdated within the modern day like is it realistic for a hero to have ‘supernatural help or leaving the ordinary world’ to be considered a hero . The template only represents fictional heroes not real heroes not the suburban heroes. There shouldn’t be a set guideline on what an individual should go through or to have done to be considered hero . This was only relevant back in the time of the Anglo-Saxon literature with a written text the epic poem known as ‘Beowulf’.

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There is one well known hero who has managed to follow the Joseph Campbell archetype who is known as Beowulf. ‘Beowulf’ was used to highlight the value the Anglo Saxon place on courage strength confidence and loyalty. To be considered a hero you must be able to earn respect. Beowulf was honoured within the Anglo Saxons due to him being able to complete three difficult tasks. One of the tasks was defeating Grendel it was claimed it was almost impossible to be in a battle with Grendel (Lines 409-410). Regardless of the circumstances Beowulf managed to defeat Grendel with his physical prowess he received large amounts of praise which he didn’t di sown. The Anglo Saxons used Beowulf’s current perception in the text to manipulate the perception of their culture. The Anglo Saxon’s valued truth , honesty , bravery all which Beowulf represented they used Beowulf so ppl can understand their culture more effectively . Beowulf was considered to be one of the greatest heroes of time by being able to fight for his people so confidently and effectively.

The recently released film ‘Interstellar’ has begun to cause a bit of unrest. With a great debate whether Coop (Joseph Cooper) or Murph (Murphy Cooper) on who was more a hero. Its noticeable that Coop displayed heroism like Beowulf where cooper was confident during the mission to save the world and he was also loyal to his family and all his colleagues. Confidence is a key attribute that many of the public favour due to being confident means the individual is more likely to take risks and naturally unlock opportunities The sense of heroism shown by coops is largely unrealistic within the modern-day society does someone really need to leave the ordinary world (according to Joseph Campbell) to be given hero status? Meanwhile Murph who is the real hero who provided multiple characteristics that the modern-day society would accept such as the courage to attempt the Dr Brands formula or the humbleness naming the new planet after her father even though she saved humanity. It is noticeable that ‘Interstellar’ provides a more in depth view of how the public currently view heroism and their beliefs coincide with ‘Interstellar’. The public do not really care about the people who are going unrealistic limits in order to be a hero. They care about the everyday unintentional approach which ultimately determines them a hero such as Murph.

The heroes in the costume are not the heroes we are looking for we looking for the people are constituently going overtime to do the right thing. The two texts analysed do not represent within the perception of what a hero represents. They underlying theme is that heroes don’t need complex a story or a world threatening problem . All we need are the real heroes who are doing the right thing with no form of reward. Politics has got the community thinking our heroes are the people in books, films etc and if were being realistic they have no place in our existence. Anyone on earth can be a hero they don’t have to be defined by a guide or template they just need to take a step forward. With everything going on in the modern way we can’t forget about our heroes.

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Our Forgotten Heroes: Why Heroes Have Lost Their Value and Significance in Society. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/our-forgotten-heroes-why-heroes-have-lost-their-value-and-significance-in-society/
“Our Forgotten Heroes: Why Heroes Have Lost Their Value and Significance in Society.” Edubirdie, 25 Aug. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/our-forgotten-heroes-why-heroes-have-lost-their-value-and-significance-in-society/
Our Forgotten Heroes: Why Heroes Have Lost Their Value and Significance in Society. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/our-forgotten-heroes-why-heroes-have-lost-their-value-and-significance-in-society/> [Accessed 20 Apr. 2024].
Our Forgotten Heroes: Why Heroes Have Lost Their Value and Significance in Society [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 25 [cited 2024 Apr 20]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/our-forgotten-heroes-why-heroes-have-lost-their-value-and-significance-in-society/
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