The Dynamic Nature of Heroism in Today's Society

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About this sample


Words: 875 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Jul 18, 2018

Essay grade:
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Words: 875|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Jul 18, 2018

Essay grade:
arrow downward Read Review

What comes to mind when you hear the word, ‘hero’? Now, when most people hear that word, a variety of different images and concepts come to mind. Superman, Optimus Prime, Wolverine; the list goes on. What if I told you there are a film and a story that perfectly represent how the perception of heroism has changed throughout the decades. The story of Beowulf has an excellent representation of hero’s with masculinity and pure strength. Beowulf is a well-written story about a mighty hero who faces many foes with his physical strength and physique. However, Beowulf, unfortunately, has an early death after killing Grendel and Grendel’s mother, having to mightily face the dragon which ultimately meant his doom. On the other hand, Interstellar, directed by Christopher Nolan is a tear-jerking movie with Cooper and Murph as the main heroes, after a sobbing goodbye when Coops leaves Murph on Earth, both heroes pursue their call to adventure, both fall into trouble and faces their foes and became victorious. Nevertheless, both succeed and work together to save Earth.

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Recently a famous movie director decided to ask the community what they believe is the better type of heroism, 83% believe that Mental and Emotional strength is better and 17% believe its Strength and Brute Power. This represents the heroes from Interstellar as they do not really on brawns and might, instead, they truly embody the saying brains over brawn. Moreover, this proves that people in the 21st century are more drawn to mental and emotional strength rather than physical strength. But why is that?

Interstellar clearly shows how heroes are represented in today’s society, a hero who isn’t purely defined by their strength but also on their mentality and emotions. The heroes in Interstellar are Cooper and Murphy, they both show incredible strength emotionally and mentally. People today believe this the only form of heroism whilst fewer people are beginning to think that masculinity is a form of heroism. Beowulf and the heroes from Interstellar both follow “the hero’s journey” in their way. Examples of this can be seen when both Cooper and Murphy enter the threshold (the secret NASA base) and then eventually both face their Ordeal/Challenge. Cooper’s was a life-threatening slingshot around the black hole Gargantua, and Murphy’s Ordeal/Challenge was the challenging formula to rescue everyone from Earth. However, Beowulf’s ‘entering the threshold’ and Ordeal/Challenge was more intense and physical. The crossing threshold for Beowulf is sailing across the sea, fighting sea monsters and the Ordeal/Challenge is fighting Grendel, Grendel’s Mother and The Dragon. As it’s apparent that Beowulf’s journey was more physical and took more brute force instead of mental and emotional strength similar to the heroes from Interstellar. Moreover, with these two outstanding and engaging stories, views on heroism have changed due to today’s society, with many feminists believing it’s not fair that males aren’t being victimized due to male hero’s involvement with masculinity. Additionally, in recent news, a hardcore feminist abused a child for dressing up as Beowulf this Halloween, the feminist claims that it was not right for the child to dress up as a hero that promotes male masculinity. She believes males would be empowered by stories like Beowulf, but, due to the backlash on this feminist, male certainly disagrees. This is absurd, males shouldn’t be harassed due to this. Although, there are still people who believe that Beowulf and the image of heroism that the story of Beowulf presents is unfair on the female gender and other males who aren’t as masculine. I believe that they don’t like the ideation of masculine males abusing their power, as an example of a male abusing their masculinity, in the story of Beowulf, a male character attempts to sexually assault a female character, these people without a doubt see why the views on heroism must change. Thus, caused the evolution of heroism; now many heroes aren’t physically strong, although their strengths are unique.

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In conclusion, heroes today have and continued to tremendously impact our society as a whole, as evident through the constant praise of the recent Marvel heroes we currently see on screen. The journey in which we see heroes go through in literary works, follow the same cemented route we seen in blockbusters today. Although presently, heroes consistently have the mental and emotional strength, although in Beowulf it is apparent that Beowulf does follow the same journey, however, his persona is primarily focused on his godly strength and bravery. This corroborates with the information above, how feminist and males who aren’t masculine believing it’s unfair to present heroes with more manly attributes and qualities. This shows that Beowulf takes on a more physical journey then the heroes from Interstellar. Hence, it is unmistakable that views on heroism have changed throughout the years, as more and more heroes follow an emotional and mental pathway to success.

Works Cited

  1. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney
  2. Heaney, S. (2000). Beowulf: A new verse translation. W. W. Norton & Company.
  3. Interstellar (2014) directed by Christopher Nolan
  4. Nolan, C. (Director). (2014). Interstellar [Film]. Paramount Pictures.
  5. The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
  6. Campbell, J. (2008). The hero with a thousand faces. New World Library.
  7. Gender and Heroism in Early Medieval Literature by Carla María Thomas
  8. Thomas, C. M. (2002). Gender and heroism in early medieval literature. Boydell & Brewer.
  9. The New Heroines: Female Embodiment and Technology in 21st-Century Popular Culture by Katharina Freund
  10. Freund, K. (2016). The new heroines: Female embodiment and technology in 21st-century popular culture. Springer.
  11. The Masculine Identity Crisis and The Hero Archetype in Modern Literature by Paul A. Cantor
  12. Cantor, P. A. (2013). The Masculine Identity Crisis and The Hero Archetype in Modern Literature. National Affairs, (17), 86-99.
  13. How America's New Masculinity Is Changing Pop Culture by Sam Lansky
  14. Lansky, S. (2019, January 31). How America's new masculinity is changing pop culture. Time Magazine.
  15. Heroism in the Twenty-First Century: The Relationship Between Heroism and Gender by Kate A. Ratliff and Oliver P. John
  16. Ratliff, K. A., & John, O. P. (2013). Heroism in the twenty-first century: The relationship between heroism and gender. Journal of Personality, 81(2), 180-193.
  17. Heroism: A Conceptual Analysis and Differentiation Between Heroic Action and Altruism by Franco Zappala and Mariah K. Snyder
  18. Zappala, F., & Snyder, M. K. (2011). Heroism: A conceptual analysis and differentiation between heroic action and altruism. Review of General Psychology, 15(2), 99-113.
  19. Heroes: What They Do and Why We Need Them by Scott T. Allison and George R. Goethals
  20. Allison, S. T., & Goethals, G. R. (2016). Heroes: What they do and why we need them. Oxford University Press.
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The essay is informative and flows well throughout. However, it would benefit from section headings, organization, and better evidence citation.

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The Dynamic Nature of Heroism in Today’s Society. (2018, April 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 19, 2024, from
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