Hero

‘A hero commonly possesses superhuman capabilities or idealized character traits which enable him or her to perform extraordinary, beneficial deeds (i.e., a “heroic deed”) for which he or she is famous ‘

– Wiki on Hero

That’s not really a Hero which we want to admire. A better Version would be that of a Reluctant Hero

The Reluctant Hero is typically portrayed either as an ordinary person thrust into extraordinary circumstances which require him to rise to heroism.The Reluctant Hero is portrayed as having a period of doubt after his initial foray into heroism. This may be brought about by the negative consequences of his own heroic actions, or by the achievement of some position of personal safety – leaving the audience to wonder whether he will return to heroism at the moment when he is needed the most.

^^ This is more like it.

Who is a Reluctant Hero ? I would like to take explaing the concept of A Reluctant Hero using the example of a protagonist in three examples

  1. The Harry Potter Series

I’m not going to go into how well JKR writes, or how marvellous the magical world she created is. Her book sales will talk for that.

I want to focus on the protagonist. Harry Potter. He was not born with any magical gifts or powers. He did not want the [in]famous scar on his forehead. He did not want the double edged fame he was thrust into. He did not want to be a 13 yr old having to fear for his life everyday having death eaters or Voldermort after him.He did not want to fight them. But he did it anyway.

2. Temple By Matthew Reilly

A lot of you may not have read this book or even heard of this writer. But I urge you to read it as it has a lot to do with reluctant heroism[just like the examples above and below] and a jaw dropping ending . A small gist from amazon.com to get you to speed.

William Race, a mild-mannered professor, is impressed into the U.S. army on a bizarre mission: to retrieve a centuries-old Incan idol revered by a Peruvian Indian tribe. The idol, carved out of a meteorite, is the missing ingredient in a so-called “planet-killer,” a weapon long sought not only by the U.S. government, but also by a neo-Nazi group whose scientists, linguists, and anthropologists seem to be one step ahead of the Americans. Only Race can translate the legendary manuscript that holds the key to the idol’s location high in the Andes in a temple guarded by huge, man-eating panthers, on a moat seething with equally carnivorous crocodiles’

If you read the book, you can Race’s character see as hinted above. He did not want to be in the amazons filled with hungry gators and Killer Legendary Black Panthers. He did not want to stop 20 highly trained elite commando terrorists from stealing the century old idol.
But he did it anyway.

3. The Matrix Trilogy (My Personal Fav)

Obviously no introductions needed here. Neo did not want to be the One. He did not believe it himself nor could other convince him. He did not want to fight the machines or take on the agents.
But he did it anyway.

What is common to Harry, Race and Neo?

  • They were all the Chosen Ones
  • Their coming was predicted in the Prophecy
  • They were all reluctant in the Heroic/Epic Task that lay ahead of them and had the potential to change the world


All of them were just three normal guys. But they did have some special qualities like Courage, Friendship, Self Sacrifice. These are the qualities that you and I want in us and in the people around us. Not the ability to fly or the strength to move a 1000 mountains. Our mind will reject that how ever fanciful it sounds. Because that is not real.

Ever wondered why all the three are so popular and deified all over the world? There is a hero in all of us. But we lack the courage and the self belief that we too can be as God like as they are. But our physche/id needs an outlet for our hero worship. That’s how they emerge.

Thats why we all love a reluctant hero.

Because he is just like us – insecure,afraid and emotional.

In other words human.

Humans
Emerging at the
Right
Occasions

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