Huckleberry Finn, Daisy Miller And Sister Carrie As Heroes

2521 words - 10 pages

The definition of a hero is not straight-edged. Heroes are, however, imagined to possess certain qualities. Courage, romanticism, charming beauty, and a willingness to defy society are four very prominent characteristics amongst heroes and contribute to today's notion of heroism. In order to decide if and to what extent any character lives up to the standards of heroism, one must search for these qualities.

Huckleberry Finn, Daisy Miller, and Sister Carrie are three heroes from three different novels. It has already been decided that they are heroes. Therefore, the question is not whether or not they are heroes. The question is to what extent do they fit this notion of heroism? To what extent do they possess courage, romanticism, noncompliance, and beauty? As their characters? are searched and examined, one will discover that each may be a little brave, romantic, rebellious, and attractive, but they all fall short of the complete hero. Huckleberry Finn is brave, but he lacks romanticism and beauty and caves into society?s pressure. Daisy Miller stands firm when society tells her to change, but she lacks real courage, romanticism, and beauty. Lastly, Sister Carrie is beautiful and romantic, but she is neither courageous nor willing to resist society?s influences. The three characters ? Huck, Daisy, and Carrie ? overcome some obstacles and attain heroic qualities, while other obstacles hinder them.

Huckleberry Finn, hero of Mark Twain?s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, possesses courage, one of the four main pillars of a heroic building. However, his building does not stand tall because he lacks the other three pillars. His foundation is not sturdy. He, like all of the characters, falls short of the heroic structure. But he does have courage. In order to have courage, Huck must first overcome an obstacle: the fear of punishment. In order to be brave, one cannot fear getting in trouble. Although he struggles with this obstacle and wants to obey his widow guardian, Huck makes a huge decision that shows his overall defeat of this fear: Huck decides to protect Jim, a runaway slave. Huck knows he could get in trouble both by the law and by God. He knows that he has a big decision to make, declaring, ?I?d got to decide, forever, betwixt two things,? and he decides, ?All right, then, I?ll go to hell? (Twain 223). The fear of punishment is an obstacle that Huck overcomes, and on the other side stands courage. The mere fact that Huck is helping a runaway slave is courageous, but specific actions further prove Huck?s bravery. A choice example is when Huck takes the stolen money from the duke and king and returns it to the rightful owners (Twain 188-191). Another instance where the reader sees that spark of courage in Huck?s eyes is when, after boarding a wrecked, abandoned ferryboat and falling upon a few villains, Huck bravely takes matters into his own hands: ?But if we find their boat we can put all of ?em in a bad...

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