1. Eradicator
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    Eradicator New Member

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    What is a hero?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Eradicator, May 31, 2016.

    I am writing a story that concerns the main character being a "hero". However when developing his character I realized that I was not sure how other people saw in a hero. I asked friends but I get the response of examples instead of a clear definition or opinion. The question I wan to ask is simply: What is a hero?
     
  2. Romana
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    Romana Member

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    someone who puts the needs of the many above their own needs.
     
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  3. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    What's a hero to you? You're the one writing a story about the main character being one. You're bound to get a variety of answers from other people, but you should write your concept of hero, not someone else's.

    While I casually use 'hero' as a synonym for 'protagonist' (sometimes sarcastically, to be fair), to me a consummate hero is defined by goodness, compassion, selflessness - think of a storybook knight type of character. Someone who defends those who can't defend themselves and goes out of their way to make the world a better place, and would sacrifice almost anything to that end.
     
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  4. Gawler
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    Gawler Contributing Member

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    Someone said to me the other day something that really made me think. "Heroes emerge from the darkest corners of despair." Without a crisis you cannot have a hero.
     
  5. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    substitute man for hero



    If that wasn't clear enough

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2016
  6. Vandor76
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    Vandor76 Contributing Member

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    In a book a hero can be someone the readers think of as being one OR someone other characters in the book think of as being one. Neither of these mean all of them.
     
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  7. Phil Mitchell
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    Phil Mitchell Active Member

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    Anyone who tries to make the world a better place.

    Bam. Topic done.
     
  8. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    Nope, villains try and make the world a better place all the time.

    #SwiftAsACoursingRiver
     
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  9. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Well, I just looked the word up, and a hero can be a sandwich. :)
     
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  10. Iain Aschendale
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    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

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    Someone who risks their own well-being to protect others, with whom they have no prior relationship, from harm at no gain to themselves?
     
  11. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    I believe you're thinking of a manwich

    [​IMG]

    Still team #SwiftAsACoursingRiver
     
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  12. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    .. and just now my stomach turns :( Guess I am not completely rational but I can't stomach such *jokes*.

    Heroes are people who have done extraordinary deeds, be it small or great. The greatest story I've ever read concerned a cook who was a hero because he made sandwiches at the right time.

    edit. Some heroes care. Some do it because they must, from within. Any other reason - to me - and the person does it out of self-interest and that is not someone who I would name a hero.
     
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  13. Iain Aschendale
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    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

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    "I wanna shake off the dust of this one-horse town. I wanna explore the world. I wanna watch TV in a different time zone. I wanna visit strange, exotic malls. I'm sick of eating hoagies. I want a grinder, a sub, a foot-long hero."

    -Homer Simpson
     
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  14. Phil Mitchell
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    Phil Mitchell Active Member

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    Not by any objective standard.
     
  15. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Not quite Manwich, but same family....
    hero.png

    @Lifeline - it is actually a joke. It's one of the definitions I discovered when I looked the word up. I'd forgotten about these monster sandwiches. Anyway, of course your definition of literary 'hero' is what the thread called for. Sorry if I've temporarily derailed it. I'll go away now. :)
     
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  16. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    Eating the Manwitch is actually step 3 of the hero's journy.
    You shouldn't even think about eating one unless you've at least pulled some sort of weapon out of a rock.

    By tons of objective standards.
    An antagonist might legitimately try and make the world a better place but fail utterly.
    Try is such a open ended word anyways... I 'tried' to move the world yesterday. I didn't have much success unless... you don't feel warmer, do you?

    Nope, this is our life now, and there's nothing to do but live it.
     
  17. Phil Mitchell
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    Phil Mitchell Active Member

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    "By tons of objective standards.
    An antagonist might legitimately try and make the world a better place but fail utterly.
    Try is such a open ended word anyways... I 'tried' to move the world yesterday. I didn't have much success unless... you don't feel warmer, do you?"

    Antagonists aren't villains. Antagonists can be heroes. Someone who legitimately tries to make the world a better place by objective standards is a hero. Antagonist or protagonist.

    Heroism isn't measured by success.
     
  18. Iain Aschendale
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    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

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    When trying to make the world a better place, one's definition of "better" and the means used are critical. Someone who's trying to stamp out, for example, an inheritable genetic defect could do so with either gene therapy or hospitals that take in "patients" but never discharge any. Either means could lead eventually to no more cases of that particular condition, but we'd put very different labels on the people responsible.
     
  19. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    Just a heads up - you can hit 'Reply' at the bottom right of anyone's post and it'll make it clearer and easier for you to reply to a post or section of a post directly, plus notifying the person you're responding to so that they know you're talking to them.
     
  20. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    I get the feeling that the "objective standards" you speak of are merely your subjective ones.
     
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  21. hawls
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    hawls Active Member

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    The hero only exists from someone else's perspective. And from another, no hero at all. Just someone who got in the way and ruined everything.
     
  22. DystopianApocolypse
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    DystopianApocolypse Member

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    Personally, I find that the idea of the heroes journey sits well with the arch-typical hero.
    Simply put, a hero is someone who will do what is right above all else and what anyone else thinks. This makes them rather cardboard cut outs though, as the real world has grey areas that deny for the existence of exact rightness. Should the hero save the tens of people, or the one he loves. If he saves the one he loves, will he be hated for letting the tens of people die, will the loved one understand. If they save the tens of people, is there someone else who loved that single soul, can they themselves cope with the loss. Do I arrest the little girl who stole food simply to feed herself. She is hungry true, but the shop keeper may have family, his business may be sinking and he needs every penny he can scrape together. Is it right to let the girl eat or the man carry on his business and possibly feed his family?

    I think that Extra credits did a rather good point on heroes,
     
  23. Phil Mitchell
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    Phil Mitchell Active Member

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    I know you're obtuse, so here's an easy one for you.

    Someone who wants to make the world a better place by wiping out almost all life on Earth with an asteroid and starting over is objectively not a hero.
     
  24. halisme
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    halisme Contributing Member Contributor

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    As a misanthropist I disagree.
     
  25. Phil Mitchell
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    Phil Mitchell Active Member

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    I don't care.

    The objective standard is the relief of suffering and misery. When you're trying to cause more suffering and misery then you're relieving, you're not a hero.
     

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