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Heroes in the East and West as Seen in Some Literary Works (Essay Sample)


Heroes in the East and West as Seen in Some Literary Works


Heroes in the East and West as Seen in Some Literary Works
Every society has literary works describing heroes whose are typically protagonists. Over the years, the east and western hero definition has contrasted sharply due to the cultural background. Heroes possess the idealistic fantastical character of physical strength, stamina, an innate sense of the right thing to do and superior intelligence as standards of measure. Heroes, within their narrative art form, reflect their society's values, beliefs, attitudes and ideologies CITATION Mel16 \l 1033 (Gibson, Huxley, & Ormrod, 2016). Heroism is manifested when a person or a group of people thereof attempts to resolve one of the four conflicts of literature; man versus man, man versus society, man versus nature and man versus himself. Each of the heroic characters coined in literary works falls in either of the aforementioned conflict categories. More often than not, each of the characters has mythical powers that enable them to resolve the conflicts paranormally. Culture bears heroes, and they culminate the best fantastical ideal held by the people in that society.
There exist several characteristics between the heroic characteristics of eastern and western societies. One of the common similarity is the heroes work for the common good of the society. They regard the value of human life and uphold moral standards of the society which the villains disregard. Often, the heroes achieve their objectives of bringing justice to the innocent people who suffer in the hands of villains. Heroes sometimes pay the ultimate sacrifice for their societies, families, friends or their honour. Heroes from both backgrounds have an element of superiority compared to ordinary people who are manifested psychologically or physically.
Additionally, in both cultures, the person portrayed as the hero often has or is endowed with noble qualities. As stated earlier, a hero is a person that people look up to, and while they may not always be perfect role models, they showcase some attributes that distinguish them from the ordinary people. Some of the noble attributes include unswerving pursuance, incredible courage, and finally, compassion which supersedes that which ordinary people portray. With such qualities, heroes are often inherently bestowed the community’s burdens and are expected to always be at their best. However, there are distinct differences between the heroes in the east and those in the west, and they are as depicted below:
Western heroes
The western society has coined their heroism ideal from their cultural background that emphasises on capitalism, democracy and patriotism. The main villains in literary works in the Western world are the people who oppose these principles. Obviously, the heroes trounce on the villains who either exploit these principles for individual gain or those who challenge the principles to enforce Eastern principles. There seems to be underlying enmity between eastern and western principles of society especially regarding values and systems of governance. These differences commonly surface in literary works with each society defending their ideals. Literature is the mirror of the society, and the west and east are always engaged in supremacy battles of whose culture is best for their society. Therefore, the literature from both societies defend these ideals. Their heroes thus defend their societal background values and culture by overpowering their enemies.
A western hero character often becomes superheroes through mystical processes that do not always reflect the standard natural processes. Western heroes are often born from lab experiments, magic, inborn abilities or encounter with paranormal beings. Their processes of attaining the power that grants them...
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