Examples of Hero from Literature

Definition of a Hero

A hero in literature is a main character who displays brave or moral behavior. The hero usually faces challenges and has to overcome obstacles. His or her actions reflect admirable qualities.

The classic hero tends to be courageous, strong, smart, persistent and concerned about those in need. We look up to and respect a hero. Heroes inspire us to be better. Their stories often follow a journey of growth from ordinary to extraordinary.

Characteristics of a hero

Following are the characteristics of a hero:

I- Bravery

Heroes are courageous in the face of danger. They are always willing to risk their own safety for a greater cause. They face situations that make an ordinary person run away in fear. Their bravery inspires others.

II- Conviction

Heroes stand up for their beliefs and principles. They refuse to abandon their moral code even while facing pressure, temptation and threats from evil forces.

III- Determination

They are perseverate through struggles to achieve their goal. Heroes do not quit in the face of seemingly impossible odds. Their determined spirit pushes them to keep trying.

IV- Selflessness

True heroes act to help others with little regard for their own wellbeing or reward. They are willing to sacrifice their own needs, wants, or even lives for the greater good.

V- Leadership

Many heroes emerge as leaders of causes, groups, or movements against injustice. Their words, strategic thinking, or deeds rally others to join the fight.

VI- Role Model

As characters who inspire us, heroes tend to demonstrate admirable traits. Honesty, courage, empathy, and wisdom make them ethical examples that others aspire to emulate.

VII- Flaws

Interestingly, some literary heroes grapple with personal flaws, doubts, or weaknesses. Overcoming these makes their heroism more remarkable. Their journey is relatable.

These qualities allow heroes to transform, save, stand up, speak out, defend, fight darker forces, and inspire ordinary people to extraordinary feats. Their character traits and moral heroism leave lasting impressions on readers.

Examples of Hero in literature

Here are examples of literary heroes:

I- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Atticus Finch, the principled lawyer and single father from the novel, displays tremendous integrity, compassion and moral courage. He defends a black man falsely accused of rape in the racist climate of the American South during the Great Depression. Despite threats to himself and his family, Atticus takes the controversial case and teaches his children by example the importance of justice, empathy, and standing up for one’s beliefs.

II- The Lord of Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Frodo Baggins, the humble hobbit hero, is entrusted with destroying the immensely powerful One Ring sought by the dark lord Sauron. Though an unlikely hero, the young Frodo joins the Fellowship of the Ring on the seeming impossible quest to take the Ring to Mount Doom. Through immense inner strength, he resists the Ring’s corrupting influence and perseveres through countless challenges to finally destroy the Ring and save Middle Earth.

III- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Katniss Everdeen, courageous teenage heroine, volunteers as tribute to save her younger sister from having to enter the brutal Hunger Games. Defiant of the oppressive Capitol regime, her integrity inspires hope in the districts. Forming allies like Rue and determinedly surviving two Hunger Games, Katniss becomes the face of the growing rebellion against tyranny.

IV- Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter discovers his own bravery and destiny as a wizard hero in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. As “the Chosen One,” Harry shows incredible courage and loyalty defending Hogwarts and his friends against the dark wizard Voldemort. Through talent and persever, Harry grows into the leadership role he is destined fulfill by vanquishing enemies and still demonstrating compassion.

V- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Scarlett O’Hara is a determined and resilient young woman who struggles to save her Georgia plantation home during the American Civil War. As she faces love, loss, and the ravages of war, Scarlett relies on her willful spirit and resourcefulness to endure hardships and loss. Her driven motivation preserves Tara through the war and its aftermath.

VI- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre is a fiercely independent and moral young woman who overcomes a traumatic childhood as an orphan to become a governess at Thornfield Hall. Though falling in love with the brooding Mr. Rochester, Jane values self-respect and refuses to be manipulated or legally bound to a man with a secret wife. Her decision exemplifies courageous integrity.

VII- The Odyssey by Homer

Odysseus demonstrates epic heroism as he journeys home after the Trojan War. He faces mythical monsters and threats, relying on his strength, clever tricks, and determination to survive. Despite detours and losing his men, Odysseus’ persistence, leadership ability and love for family drive him through a long, treacherous passage back to Ithaca and his wife, Penelope.

Function of Hero

The hero performs vital narrative and thematic functions. A literary hero acts courageously in the face of adversity. He demonstrates admirable integrity and overcomes inner and outer conflicts. He returns with an elixir to benefit society.

Through trials, the hero is galvanized into a wiser and more mature version of themselves. The hero thus functions to take readers on an inspirational journey of struggle and growth. Ultimately, the literary hero entertains and motivates while facilitating commentary on the human condition.

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