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What Is a Hero?

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What is a hero? In this paper the definition of the word will be given as well as some example from the material read, to help explain what a hero is, or what my idea of a hero is. The story’s or poem’s that will be talked about are “from Bodega Dreams” (page 178), “The Train from Hate” (223) and the poem “Hard Rock Returns to Prison from the Hospital for the Criminal Insane” (194). A hero is a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. (Dictionary.com). Each of these stories has a hero within them, for example in from Bodega Dreams, the hero is Mr. Tapia, in The Train form Hate the mother is our hero, and finally in Hard Rock Returns to Prison of course the hero is Hard Rock the biggest black man in the prison.

Looking at each of these stories they are all dealing with some form of racism, which is what causes each of the stories to need a hero. In Hard Rock Returns to Prison, he is referred to as being a big Nigger, they describe him with all of his bruises, as well as scars and they explain to us that it takes eight screws to put him in the whole where he remained for sixty-seven days for hitting the captain with his dinner tray. Hard Rock defends himself against hateful statements, showing the other inmates that he isn’t scared and he’s not going to take anything form anyone, making the weaker inmates look up to him as if he is someone they can idealize. After Hard Rock has become so aggressive the prison decides to do electrotherapy on him, causing him to appear as if he has been cut like a stallion. After the therapy, it almost looks as if Hard Rock will loss his heroic stature a little because he allows people to talk cruel to him without him responding. However, being able to control your anger when someone who is demoralizing you, makes you more of a hero, while making that person look very weak, like Mr. Blessington in from Bodega Dreams.

In from Bodega Dreams, you have the racist Mr. Blessington, he is always telling the students they are going to jail. He is always belittling them, saying that he is doing them a favor by being there at their school, trying to help them because no one else will. He won’t teach them anything but Robert Frost, when they ask him to teach them about Julia de Burgos, the woman their school is named after he tells them that no one in their school knows anything about her and he doesn’t even know why they named their school after her. When one of the students upset’s Mr. Blessington by stating that Mr. Tapia knows of the woman, this causes an argument. In the middle of this Mr. Blessington puts Sapo, one of the students in a headlock, so two girls go to get help. When they start to leave Mr. Blessington releases Sapo and turns his back on him, that is when he jumps on his back and bites a piece out of Mr. Blessington’s neck. Sapo goes to the restroom to clean up while Mr. Blessington is helped.



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