Legends Of Heroes Essay, Research Paper
“Legends Of Heroes”
You always hear about the people who do wrong, hurt others, take advantage, rob and steal. But they are the minority. There are people considered heroes who are everyday real people who step up to the challenge and help others when they’re needed. You also always hear or once heard stories that contain a hero called legends. They are “legendary heroes”. These two words are used together in the same subject but have very different meanings.
A hero is someone who puts his own personal safety at risk to accomplish something no one else could gather up the courage to accomplish. They are people with a seed of greatness that show they can think and act decisively in tough situations, but most importantly stand up for their beliefs. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “a man of super human strength or ability, said to be the offspring of a god or goddess and a human being.” This is different from my idea of a hero. An American Anthropologist, Margaret Mead, stated, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” A perfect example of a thoughtful committed citizen (hero) is a woman by the name of Rosa Parks. She was a black woman who refused to give up her seat on the bus for a white man. Her stand for equality started the Civil Rights Movement. Although she didn’t do anything physically spectacular, she had the courage to slay the monster of segregation. She stood up for her beliefs by sitting down.
Such a thing of heroes has been around since the time of Homer writing epics and ancient mythology. Homer made illustrious warriors the subject of his stories. The heroes were of great strength and did brave and noble deeds. This use of the word should not be confused with the slang used today in the United States. The word hero is used to describe a very large sandwich. The sandwich is usually about two inches thick and eighteen inches long.
Humans are story-telling animals. From the beginning of language, we have sat around the campfire and told stories. Made up explanations of what the lights were in the sky. Told of bold exploits. The television is a poor substitute, which is something that kids know instinctively: after a day of watching TV, they don’t want to go to sleep until you tell them a story. Adults get too busy to remember the simple, good things of life. But people, young and old, need stories; it’s part of our being. That is why we have legends.
My grandfather was an Irish storyteller who wove his life into tales of both magical and legendary. Discovering that he had lived through the depression and grew up working hard on a farm reinforced his magical legends. Learning he had quit school at the age of nine to become a breaker boy, picking slate from the coal for 25$ a day, fueled the fantasy. Knowing that he survived an explosion that killed other men completed the legend. He would tell me legends of his working days in the mine, and of the evolution of automobiles. As I got older, I realized that my golden storyteller was illiterate. He was a self-made man, who was too embarrassed to admit he couldn’t read. So we would compromise. He would ask me to read him the paper and in return he would tell me a story.
When I think of him today, I think of him as a legend. I am sure he had done many deeds for others to be a hero, but his story makes him a legend. That is the difference between a legend and the hero. A hero is the actual person and the legend is the story behind the hero. According to Webster’s New World Dictionary a legend is, “a notable person whose deeds or exploits are much talked about in his or her own time”. Rosa Parks is a hero who’s stand will never be forgotten. My grandfather is a legend whose story will be handed down for generations.
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