Herosim in "Candide" and "The Love Suicides at Amijima"

Topics: Courage, Hero, Suicide / Pages: 3 (601 words) / Published: Mar 31st, 2007
What is heroism? Heroism is typically described with qualities such as courage, bravery, fortitude, unselfishness, or someone who has achieved some fantastic goal or status, or even someone who has accomplished a great task. Heroism consists of always striving to do what is right, rather than what is pleasant, or convenient, or what everyone else is doing. In the stories "Candide" and "The Love Suicides at Amijima," it is proved that almost anyone can be a hero. This is established when people of the so called "middle class" emerge as heroes. Candide finds himself in several situations where it is necessary to be a hero. The first situation in which Candide is a hero is when he is kicked out of the castle in Thunder-ten-tronckh, for having a sexual encounter with Cunegund. Thereafter, Candide is captured by the Bulgarians and is given a choice "to run the gauntlet six and thirty times through the whole regiment, or to have his brains blown out with a dozen musket-balls (27)." Being the "hero" he is, Candide chooses to run the gauntlet. Instead of the thirty-six times he was to run the gauntlet, our "hero" makes it only twice until he pleads to the Bulgarians to shoot him in the head (27). Subsequently, Candide travels to Lisbon where he experiences the famous earthquake in 1755. One prime example of heroism in Candide, is when Candide no longer has great inclination to marry Cunegund, but honors his promise anyways and does. During the story, Candide is also hunted by the Inquisition and Jesuits, and threatened with imprisonment in Paris. In "The Love Suicides at Amijima," you are not able to depict who the true hero will be until the ending act. As a reader, we hope for Jihei to come along and save Koharu since she truly loves him; however, there is a catch, Jihei is shown to be a weak man that's unable to choose between two women (his wife – Osan, and Koharu). When Jihei's wealthy rival in love, Tahei, buys Koharu off, Jihei faces a public humiliation that

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