Heroes in Today’s Media, Have They Changed?
English 122: English Composition II
Instructor Terrence Westhoff
April 1, 2013
Heroes in Today’s Media, Have They Changed?
There are many heroes, but there are those who sit back and question what or who makes a hero in today’s society. It has never been a set standard for heroes. In this modern world, there are many types of heroes. In today’s media, there is a contrast between million dollar sports figures, glorified celebrities, and the normal people we call heroes. Some heroes receive no recognition and others receive hero status with ease. However, it has yet to be determined whether our meaning of heroes has changed due to this influence. We have known about the existence of heroes but have not stopped to see which ones we admire and value. If we had to define a hero, one definition would be, “A hero is a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal” (Dictionary.com, 2013). There are extraordinary people who preform heroic acts and go unnoticed. These heroes are firefighters, police officers, war heroes, teachers, and even a child. Many of these heroes do not ask for any type of recognition. These are the heroes that we should value and admire. Anyone can become a hero. A hero is an ordinary person that will go beyond what is asked of them. These people are the ones who become our heroes. When we were younger, we look up to these types of heroes. They were people in our communities or someone we read about in the paper that had done something heroic. Many of our hero’s accomplishments are briefly mentioned in the media today. When a week or two goes by, we forget about those heroes and what they have done. When it comes to recognizing our everyday heroes, we do not give them the same recognition we reserve for media heroes. Are the achievements of every day heroes less significant? The answer would be no. The number of selfless acts of these every day heroes far out way the number of homeruns, number of platinum records, or the number of Grammys’ an actor has received. A famous scholar who dedicated a portion of his career creating a hero archetype defined a hero as,” Someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”(Campbell, 1949) Finding a hero to fit this definition in today’s world may seem impossible. The heroes of 911 brought back the true meaning of a hero. On this day, as many know planes were hijacked. Flight 93 filled with ordinary people who were fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters. Without any hesitation, they took matters into their own hands to protect others. An article in Forbes Magazine it was stated,” The unintentional heroes were ordinary Americans who could easily have behaved differently than they did when faced with their own destruction” (Pynchon, 2011). In today’s society, we remember these heroes once a year and in the remaining days, we are focus on the heroes that the media has created. Due to the distractions, the media has placed in society, we do not hear about the other heroes who have given their lives to save others. However, when looking for stories about our heroes of today, they are few and far between. There are numerous police officers who have died in the line of duty, soldiers who gave their lives to serve their country, or the many heroes who have been given a medal valor. Local heroes appear once or twice on the inside pages of small daily papers while icons get headline news across the nation. The disparity in coverage causes National icons to gain a certain image—a celebrity image—which generates their distinction from local, small-town heroes (Skola, 2005). We have allowed the media to change the true meaning of the word hero. We have made it easy to give the title of hero to celebrities, athletes, and music icons. Now, the heroes that we focus on are the...
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