Have the Heroes Disappeared?

“When you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what”

——– Atticus Finch, explaining courage to Jem

Are there modern literary equivalents to Atticus Finch?

What about equivalents to Frodo, King Arthur,  Peter from Narnia, Odysseus, Athos, Porthos and Aramis? And I DO include Rhett Butler!

Who are the modern literary heroes and how do they measure up to the classic heroes in literature?

photo credit: mystuart via photo pin cc

About melindamcguirewrites

The young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. ------ William Faulkner, Nobel Prize Speech, Stockholm, 1950
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6 Responses to Have the Heroes Disappeared?

  1. DM Yates says:

    Hmm. I think everyone has their own concept of heroes. Believe it or not, I like Edward Cullens as a hero. Harry Potter, Hermiene Granger are heroes to me. Snape.

    • Hi Donna,
      I have a confession to make – I have NOT read any of the Twilight books. And, currently, they are not on my horizon. So, I can’t comment on Edward Cullens.
      BUT, I would absolutely agree that Harry Potter, Hermione, Snape, Ron, and so many others from Rowlings’s series are heroes. In fact, that series is chock full of people sacrificing themselves, being noble, loyal. Actually, I had not realized just how many characters in those novels were “heroes”. Thanks for this!

  2. I think of Ishmael Chambers as a modern day hero (from Snow Falling on Cedars). He’s the closest thing I can think of to someone as wonderful as Atticus Finch. I agree on Harry Potter and friends being modern day fantasy heroes, but I would never put Edward Cullen in that category. Henry DeTamble of The Time Traveler’s Wife is the new Rhett Butler in my book. So I guess the point is, No – heroes will never be dead as long as literature is alive. They are just different kinds of heroes. Instead of Odysseus, we have Thor. Instead of King Arthur – we are a generation who live by the laws of Tyler Durden, our hero being the unnamed insomniac with a severe mental problem. But he is just as much the leader of our Camelot as the wise king was, teaching us our values and how we should relate to society and what we should think about it, what we should do about it. “You buy furniture, you tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. buy the sofa, then for a couple of years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled, then the right set of dishes, then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug.
    Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things that you used to own, now they own you.” These are more relavent lessons for us than the 3 Muskateers One For All and All For One, we don’t fight battles for honor anymore, we fight personal battles against materialism. Ok, stepping off my soap box now. 🙂

    • Andi,
      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.
      And, thank you for your reference to Fight Club. That movie did and continues to touch a nerve and resonate with so many people. When it came out, I memorized so much of that movie. It just spoke to so much of what was going on at that time.
      Your post has me thinking and getting ready to research if we have a modern day equivalent of the Three Muskateers in literature/fiction.
      And, Henry DeTamble = new Rhett Butler – now I will have to read The Time Traveler’s Wife to find out if I agree with that or not! 🙂
      You are welcome to climb on to your soap box any time over here. Your comment has gotten me thinking! Uh oh ;-p

  3. run4joy59 says:

    I reread “To Kill A Mockingbird” a couple of years ago…still one of my favorite novels of all time…I dream of being able to devise a hero like Atticus Finch…

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