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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 21, 2014

Heroes: Imperfect role models

By Brennan Harward | Mar 07, 2013

To the editor:

Hello, my name is Brennan Harward, and I am doing a school assignment about Odysseus: son of Laertes and the character from “The Odyssey.” Not only that, but it puts the aspects of any hero into perspective ... for instance, what makes one a hero? How does one become a hero? What does a hero do? These questions and more made me want to take a closer analysis of Homer’s character, Odysseus.

So, just who is Odysseus? Basically, Odysseus was the main character who appeared in Homer’s epic “The Odyssey” along with his well-established reputation as a leader. But is he a hero? If we look at several modern heroes, there could be some debate on that. Therefore, I asked around, and the first person I interviewed was Price Slechta. Price’s ideal hero is Batman, who Price claimed “was cool” and “smelled like bacon.” Another interviewee, Chris Manning, argued that Ghost, a character from “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,” better fit the definition of a hero, due to the fact that “he looked cool.” Lastly, Adam Johnston had no objections, but a hero in his example just so happened to be Godzilla, with him implying that “he doesn’t let anyone tell him what to do.” All three of these inputs from other people as to what a hero is just goes to show that everyone has a different idea of just what a hero is.

We all have our own opinions, but just who we think heroes are may have an impact on our own lives. We’re all different, but it’s logical and not uncommon for us to imitate or try to repeat the acts of our idols. That said, I personally think a quality of a hero is someone who makes a positive example in society. Although he doesn’t exist (and neither do the other three listed earlier), I believe Isaac Clarke is a hero in the fictional and popular video game “Dead Space” because he’s dedicated. Despite the fact that he’s been struggling for years to survive in a bloody, gory and intense struggle against a dominant alien/zombie race, against his insanity and just his regrets in general, he still believes he can and will save humanity from extinction. He is selfless. Brave. Other words may describe him, but I think that can put him into some light on what I think a hero is.

But coming back around to our first point, we still have Odysseus. Do I think he is a hero? In the modern world, I think not, but it’s the actions that speak stronger than words, and that’s still the case. For this reason, I’m going to compare him to Isaac Clarke, as they have similar qualities. Odysseus was dedicated and brave, so I’d have to say in that sense, he was a hero. However, like Isaac, Odysseus was reckless and took any cost, no matter how bad or unfair to others, to get what he needed to get done. Both could be selfless, but at times they would cave in to fear and doubt, even when it was only a little evident. Nobody can be perfect, but our qualities might become perfect if we use them as God intended.

To sum this up, there’s a lot of speculation about heroes. They’re all different, just like us. Heroes come and go, but they all leave an impact on someone’s life whether they exist or not. If we strive to be like them, it could make us better too, but the opposite is also true. We have free will, so the choice is ours, but in the end we all are heroes now and then.

 

— Brennan Harward, Fairfield

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