Heroes And Changing The World English Literature Essay

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Does anyone have the potential and power to change the world? Many people have tried to change the world by force. It is hard to change the entire world because people are stubborn and they do not want to listen to other people. When an important person dies the world will mourn for them, but they are only mourning the fact that he is dead, not what he has left behind. A lot of people can be moved by what one has done or said, but that doesn't mean that they are changed by it. People would rather live their own lives the way that they want to then to have someone else tell them how to live it. If a single person can not change the world then who or what can? One can find out if someone can truly change the world by defining the word hero, researching to see if Bilbo Baggins was a hero and finally looking at causes that has changed ones society.

Words, words make up the entire English dictionary. Trying to define a word can be a tricky task. A lot of words have different meanings and or definitions to them. There are a lot of different words that one may mix up with another. Thankfully there are things like dictionaries and thesauruses that can help one understand a word. Defining a word can help one comprehend it and also know when to be able to use the word at the right time. Understanding words that one may not know is helpful because then one can go and tell another person that same word and the meaning of that word. An important first step in comprehending the word hero is to define the term from a dictionary definition, synonyms and antonyms, and some examples in the Bible.

Dictionaries are always useful when trying to find the definition of a word. The definition of hero, according to Dictionary.com is a "man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities". What if a man was a hero but later in his life makes a wrong decision? Is that man still considered a true hero? A hero isn't necessarily someone who saves the lives of innocent people; he or she can be a parent, a close friend, and even a teacher. The way one would view a person as a hero is the way that they act. Some people go as far as to model their own life after that "hero". The next step in defining the word hero is to look at synonyms and antonyms.

Do any words come close to the word hero? The antonyms and synonyms of hero are important to know so that one can use each of them at the appropriate time. According to Webster's Thesaurus, antonyms for the word hero are villain or antagonist. Synonyms would be leader, star and champion. The English term comes from the Latin root, hērōs. Hērōs means "to sing". Thus, a good working definition would be someone who is respected. After looking at words, can anyone in the Bible be called a hero?

There are multiple times throughout scripture that someone can be called a hero. The ultimate hero is Jesus Christ. He died for ones sins and then rose from the grave three days later! (John 24. 5&6 NIV) Noah built and ark and saved his family and many animals when God flooded the earth. (Gen 6, 7&8) Noah was heroic because he had to trust God with what He was saying. Another man that isn't often recognized as a hero is Job. Job was a very wealthy man and God allowed Satan to take everything away from him, yet Job didn't even curse or blame God. Job had to endure death in his family, all of his livestock were killed off, his friends and family left him and he got boils all over his body. Job made it through all of these hardships and God gave him twice as much as he had before. (Job 42.10). Job was hero because he made it through what God had taken from him. It's amazing to see heroic men in scripture that one should try to model their own lives after.

After looking at dictionary definitions, synonyms and antonyms, and some examples of the word hero in the Bible, one can understand all of its meanings. According to the dictionary, a hero is a man admired for his achievements and qualities. One would associate the ideas of a champion or star as an idea of hero. From scripture one can see many examples of God's men being heroes. After researching all of these things it is important to realize that we can't do anything without God. God is the true hero in everything that He has done. It is important to define words that one doesn't know so that one can hopefully put them into their vocabulary, and use them correctly. If anything, one needs to know that God saved us and, that He deserves all of ones honor and praise.

Bilbo Baggins is a small hobbit who lives a simple life. He doesn't take many risks; in fact he doesn't take any at all. He lives by himself, so he doesn't have to take care of anyone except himself. Things change one day when he goes on an adventure. Bilbo encounters many tasks and instead of cowering, he stands up for himself. In some of the situations he saves the day. During the adventure Bilbo encounters many hardships and death that he had to over come. Is Bilbo seen as a hero when he saves his own life, defeating a giant spider, and when Bilbo sneaks into Smaug's lair and steals treasure?

Can one be a hero if all he saves is himself? When one thinks of a hero they may think of Superman, or Batman saving the lives of innocent people. In this incident however, Bilbo has to save himself from Gollum (a strange, small, slimy creature) who wants to kill and eat him. Bilbo makes a deal with Gollum that if he can stump him on a riddle he can be set free; Bilbo does stump Gollum. "Alive without breath, As cold as death; Never thirsty, ever drinking, All in mail never clinking." (Tolkien 71). This was one of Gollum's riddles to Bilbo; the answer was "fish".

Bilbo is a hero here because if a hero can't save himself then how can he save the lives of innocent people? After saving himself, Bilbo goes on to defeat a giant spider.

Fighting off and killing a spider is a huge accomplishment for a small hobbit. When Bilbo awakes from his sleep he finds himself with sticky thread around his leg and a giant spider coming toward him. He see's that the spider has taken his friends and entangled them also. He cuts off the string and slays the giant spider (Tolkien 130). Bilbo isn't the most outgoing hobbit. Bilbo is very timid, shy, enjoys living life simply and doesn't like to take risks, after slaying the spider however, he feels like a fiercer and bolder hobbit. In this incident Bilbo can be seen more as a "superhero" hero. After killing a spider and saving the day, Bilbo turns into a burglar.

Burglars aren't normally recognized as being heroes. According to Dictionary.com a burglar is someone who commits burglary. Some synonyms for a burglar are thief and robber (Webster's Thesaurus). Burglary is illegal and if one is caught they could be sent to jail, or even worse, killed. Bilbo wasn't a burglar by choice; he was nominated by Thorin to sneak into Smaug's lair, Thorin only sent him in to snoop around, not to take any of Smaug's treasure (Tolkien 191). When Bilbo did take the cup though, he had to work up the courage to grab it, so technically he really didn't want to take it but he still did, making him a burglar. Burglary isn't heroic at all, but Bilbo was nominated to go into the lair because of what he had done in the past. Gathering up the courage to do something like burglary, one can see as heroic.

Bilbo can bee seen has a hero when he makes a bet with Gollum to not eat him, killing a giant spider and saving his friends and when he sneaks into Smaug's lair and steals treasure. Thanks to Bilbo's cunning brains he was able to save himself from Gollum. Even though he only saved himself, Bilbo was a hero. Bilbo saved the day and his friends after killing a giant spider.

After killing the spider Bilbo felt like "super hobbit" thinking that he could do anything. Nothing is heroic about burglary but Bilbo did have a lot of courage to sneak into Smaug's lair. Even though Bilbo was snooping around and he stole something, he was very heroic to even go into the cave in the first place. After going through all of his adventures and misfortunes, its safe to say that Bilbo went from zero to hero.

Has anyone greatly altered the way one views society? Civil Rights date back to the Romans and Ancient Greek. In some countries civil rights are protected by a written constitution according to The Kingfisher Children's Encyclopedia (80). Civil rights mean people to be treated fairly and equally no matter what their religion, gender, or origin (80). The people are allowed to express their feelings through speech or in the media. Many rights have been one won, but only after the long struggle during the 1950s and 1960s. Martin Luther King Jr. led many Civil Rights campaigns trying to equalize black Americans. Martin Luther King Jr. greatly affected the way one views society through the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Albany Movement, and the march on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

The Montgomery Bus Boycott all started with a fifteen year old girl according to the World Book Encyclopedia. The Montgomery Bus Boycott started on Dec 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, when a fifteen year old girl (Rosa Parks) refused to give up her seat on a bus. Rosa was arrested for breaking the city law requiring blacks to give up their seats to any white person, World Book Encyclopedia (320). This was the first civil rights activity that Martin participated in. That year, black leaders in Montgomery urged blacks to boycott the city buses. The leaders set up an organization to run the boycott, and they asked King to serve as president. (321). Since this was King's first Civil Rights act, all eyes were on him to come through, and he did. King was very keen on making sure that the protest would be nonviolent. In his first speech he told other blacks: "First and foremost we are American citizens... We are not here advocating violence... The only weapon we have... is this weapon of protest... The great glory or American democracy is the right to protest for right." (321). Thousands of blacks boycotted the buses for over a year, finally in 1956, the United States Supreme Court ordered Montgomery to provide equal seating positions on buses. The boycott's success won King national fame and he was now looked at as a symbol of Southern blacks effort against racism. (322). After winning his first campaign, King was motivated to participate in another campaign.

The Albany movement had a very complicated twist on it. After successfully winning his first civil rights campaign, civil rights protests expanded further in the South into major cites including Albany, Georgia. King became increasingly unhappy with President John F. Kennedy because he was doing little to promote civil rights. In 1963, King and his SLCC associates started a massive demonstration to protest racial discrimination in Birmingham, Alabama (321) Birmingham was one of the South's most segregated cities. All of these protests were nonviolent, and that was saying something for King. King was all about peaceful protests and that may have been why he had won all of his protests. King was very heroic for making sure that they were all nonviolent. King was heroic because he was being verbally and physically abused by people that despised him and he still led his protests peacefully. (322) After the Albany movement, King went on to speak one of the most recognizable speeches ever given.

The march on Washington is one of the most moving Civil Rights act. The march on Washington was basically a huge political pep rally. King and other civil rights leaders organized a massive march in Washington, D.C, according to Wikipedia. The march was intended to highlight African-unemployment and to urge congress to pass Kennedy's bill. On August 23, 1963, over 200,000 Americans (including many whites) gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in the Capital. Thanks to King's heroic act, the movement won major victory. King was heroic because he stood up for what he believed in and spoke of it to the public. In 1964, Congress passed the Civil Rights Bill that Kennedy had recommended. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited racial discrimination in public places and allowed blacks a chance for education and employment. King was a huge hero for that, if it wasn't for him blacks would still be looked down upon and not allowed to live life fully. In 1964 King received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation.

Thanks to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Albany Movement, and the March on Washington Martin Luther King Jr. changed society. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was the first civil rights movement that King participated in and some say it even sparked all the other civil rights movements. The Albany Movement was a huge turning point in King's career. The march on Washington was one of the best things that had happened in the 1960s, because it brought blacks and whites together at one place to help with job situations. While organizing a poor people's campaign that would unite black people, King went to Memphis to support black garbage workers' strike. King was shot down and killed on April 4, 1968. King's assassination sparked immediate shock, grief, and anger. In 1983, Congress passed a federal holiday honoring King and his heroic actions. The holiday is celebrated every 3rd Monday in January. King's death had a huge impact on the Civil Rights Movement for the better. Marin Luther King Jr. was a very brave man for standing up for what he believed in.

In the end it is evident that someone can change the world by looking at dictionary definitions of the word hero, researching to see if Bilbo was hero and finally looking at causes that has altered society. After researching it is clear that one person can't change the whole world. Bilbo was a hero, but he didn't change the world. Martin Luther King Jr. did not change the world, but he changed American society greatly. If King didn't stand up for what the believed in, blacks would still be looked down on. It is hard to change the world because one would have to radically change the way one lives. If that person doesn't like how one is changing the way he lives, he will not follow what one has said, therefore he is not changed. One can't change the world but, one can change others around them drastically.