English Composition/Heroism term paper 4087

English Composition term papers
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Ms. Quinn

British Literature

11 October 1999

Heroism

In this age the only way to be classified as a hero is to do something charitable, or standing up for your political beliefs. Our society no longer accepts the war aspect of being a hero. If someone were to single handedly defeat an army he would be given a medal, but be upstaged on the news by the person who donated a million dollars to a special fund. This is not bad, but it has shown how society has changed sense Beowulf's times.

The heroes of today are Mother Theresa, Princess Diana, Ghandi, and Martin Luther King Jr., there are many more but none stand out as prominently. Grant it, they are all dead, they all either went out of their way to help others or believed in something so strong they were forever be remembered. Not many people of today would leave their possessions to help poor people or travel through mine fields to see what it is like for everyday travel in some parts or the world, and these examples are few compared to the many heroes of today. Most heroes are everyday people who fight to keep down two jobs to feed their family.

In Beowulf's times the more people you killed the more your popularity grew and the more widespread your name becomes. In these times it matters on how many people you save or how much money you donate. Everyone knew of Ted Turner's vast wealth but he wasn't considered such a great guy until he donated a billion dollars to the United Nations. Beowulf saved a lot of people but he did it by defeating monsters and other armies. In his time this gave people hope knowing they had a strong leader now it depends on how nice a leader is and how they can help people.

In the times we are in now we consider hospitality and generosity such heroic traits because like to hear about good things happening around the world, so the media takes these good deeds and makes them sound heroic. Heroism is a selfless act of courage but in today's world it is shortened to just a selfless act. The more of these selfless acts you do, the more people will like you. That is why famous people try to do something nice at least once a year, instead of doing these things all the time because they know it's the right thing to do.

In conclusion, I think that society has changed drastically in the views on many topics, and heroism is just one of them. The only reason these views change is because society thinks they are doing the right thing by making big deals out of little things. In Beowulf's times one had to earn the title of hero, now they slap it on anyone who does something nice just to better themselves. I am not saying that all people are these false heroes, because the people I mentioned earlier were not false. They really did earn the title of hero.

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