In this unit, we are comparing and contrasting changing views of heroism by comparing and contrasting different kinds of soldiers and heroes. Our goal is to understand how our views on what makes a person a hero have changed over time, and to situate these views in their social and political context.
For this section, you want to adopt the position of scholars or anthropologists, attempting to understand an alien society by looking at the people that society considers to be its heroes. Assuming that each holds their hero to be (in at least some sense) an ideal, what does each hero say about the society that each hero comes from?
This essay should have the following sections:
Section 1. In this section, analyze Zadie Smith’s Accidental Hero, Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried and The Man I Killed and Homer’s depictions of Achilles (particularly in Book 1 and 20). For each of these different works, identify what the crucial components of heroism are. What makes each of these people a hero? Are they all heroes? Give evidence from the texts/films in support of your analysis/interpretation.
Section 3. This section consists of 3 reflections, one from each student, that reflects on the following question: does society shape its heroes, do heroes shape a society, or both? How does this happen? For this question, it may be worth thinking back to Plato’s criticisms of poetry and his ensuring censorship (whether or not you agree with him).
- Section has a brief introduction, stating what the group’s essay will discuss.
- Closely analyzes the text.
- Evidence from the text is cited in support of the analysis/interpretation. These citations conform with the rules in the citations tutorial.
- Content answers the questions posed in the essay prompt.
- Section 3:
- Is divided into three subsections of 1-1.5 paragraphs.
- Each subsection contains the reflection of a single student, that answers the questions listed above for section 3.
- Each subsection has a heading with the name of the student reflecting.
- Reflections are full sentence, coherent and focused.