Unformatted text preview:

Brannigan 1 Are you not entertained Not even the slightest but when in life does everything go according to plan and just fall in your lap for you In my 20 years 21 in 3 more days thank God I have learned many important things One is that anything in life worth having you have to fight for nothing is simply handed to you Another hard and painful lesson I learned is that tomorrow is never promised so live every day like its your last You never know when this wonderful life can be taken out from under your feet just as fast as you came into this world Through my own ignorance I didn t realize the significance of the books we were reading until we got to Superman For All Seasons or the significance of the order Throughout the semester you kept reiterating to us that the order of the books we were reading was not selected at random Then your message finally got through to me everyone has the ability to do something special but its up to the person whether they choose to use utilize their abilities to the full extent or not What is special should not be determined by anyone other than the individual Well done sir you successfully made me realize what no professor has been able to in my three years at this beloved institution I learned more from two comic books and two novels than I will with any combination of finance or management books You didn t simply point these underlying facts out to us because they are worth understanding You wanted us to fight and find the connections between these novels and by doing so delivered the exact message you intended Before your class I would never have considered picking up The Unbearable Lightness of Being after reading it I realized it has striking similarities to the super hero we all imagined ourselves becoming as children in Superman For All Seasons Brannigan 2 In all four of the works we read over the course of the semester the protagonist are presented with the hardship of having to fight for something and the pain that comes along with it But how could Tomas and Clark Kent ever be considered similar characters Some would say the similarity is ludicrous and almost as unimaginable as a man in tights with underwear over them sporting a cape flying around and saving the world for the common good Do they both not fight strongly for something they believe in Not conform to the cultural norms The Soviet Union invades Tomas town Prague and he decides to leave because he does not agree with their views He therefore flees to Switzerland only to return after and when he does the Soviet s try to force him to denounce his anti communist article He refuses and as a result loses his position as a surgeon He has to surrender his prestigious occupation to become a window washer But the people who struggle against what we call totalitarian regimes cannot function with queries and doubts Kundera 254 Tomas refuses to give in to the Soviet s Marxist ideals and decides keeping his integrity intact is worth more than giving into coercion and conforming like so many of the other residents did In Superman For All Seasons Clark battles the continuing struggle of trying to please everyone He gets caught up in between his two lives becomes depressed and allows Lex Luthor to invade his brain with nonsense and make him believe he is the destruction of Metropolis Pa I began to think that I could do ANYTHING And I cant Loeb and Sale 180 What limitations or problems could someone like Superman possibly have This reminds us that he is Clark Kent before he is Superman meaning Clark makes Superman who he is not the other way around It s not nearly as hard Brannigan 3 learning you have limitations as it is learning how to work with them Loeb and Sale 180 Even someone as powerful as Superman has to fight for something for someone Everything had always been so easy for Clark that he wasn t sure on how to deal with disappointing people He had gone back to the rest of the world and that never ending idea of using his powers to help as many people as he could Loeb and Sale 200 It took a regular person in Pa to remind Clark that disappointments and hardships are apart of life Out of all the characters we read about this semester Ivan stands out as the most resilient Sure it s a true story and sure it is an entire book of just one day as a prisoner in a gulag Its his attitude and perseverance about his seemingly never ending death sentence that differentiates Ivan from the rest so much Every portion was underweight the only question was by how much Twice a day you looked at it and tried to set your mind at rest Maybe they haven t robbed me blind this time Solzhenitsyn 132 The gulag treatment itself is brutal and the food rations served would leave a mouse begging for more Still Ivan finds a way to keep his mind off this matter because it would only drive him mad and as he well knows by now mad men do not survive the gulags In Ivan s case the thing he is fighting for is life itself As if to say the gulags were not bad enough when a new camp needed to be built the prisoners themselves built their hellholes From the bare frozen ground up All odds are against the prisoners with little to no chance of survival What kept body and soul together in these men was a mystery Canvas belts were drawn tight around empty bellies The frost was crackling merrily Not a warm spot nor a spark of fire anywhere All the same Gang 104 had arrived and life was beginning all over again Solzhenitsyn 313 Brannigan 4 American society as a whole complains about the smallest things and has grown so unappreciative of how good they really have it and I am surely not the exception Surviving the gulags a place where all freedoms are stripped from the prisoner requires a different kind of person How can you expect a man who s warm to understand a man who s cold The cold stung A murky fog wrapped itself around Shukhov and made him cough painfully The temperature out there was 17 Shukov s temperature was 99 The fight was on Solzhenitsyn 19 Only a person with Ivan s mindset and will to survive does so In Craig Thompson s Habibi there are several demonstrations of having to make sacrifices for potential benefits and in this case the search is for freedom In this graphic novel a young girl named Dodala is sold to a sex slave by her father She manages to escape from the sex slave and takes along Zam a young boy she discovers with her They come across a boat in the middle of the desert and live on it for 9 years sharing only stories to pass by the time Over the years the pair become unimaginably close and share an indescribably affection for one another since they are all each other has This turns out to be a mirage and just wishful thinking about how Dodola wishes life planned out Dodola ends up escaping her imprisonment and she is almost out but realizes she has left something behind Zam She feels as though as she has abandoned him once already so she refuses to leave him behind I won t abandon you again Thompson 69 She turns back goes and grabs him then quickly escapes not as smoothly as the first time but proves to be successful When she made the decision to go back for him she risked being recaptured but knew that it wasn t worth going on without her beloved Brannigan 5 Dodola raises Zam as a mother would and shows unconditional love towards him throughout Craig Thompson illustrates the raising of Zam year by year and the various morals and knowledge she embeds into him through stories until the age of 12 when they are split apart She never gives up on Zam and makes it her responsibility to reconnect with him throughout the graphic novel no matter what the consequences may be All four of the characters discussed are heroes in different ways There is not one specific definition of a hero individuals create their own perceptions of what a hero truly is The occurrence that there was a hero in each of the works we studied didn t even reach me until we got to Superman For All Seasons Once an event happens that faces a person with a difficult decision is when he or she can define themselves as heroes Everyone has the potential the only thing lacking is the right combination of the situation and the meaningfulness to the person to see how things could be different depending on the decision they make One common characteristic that all of the characters share is that not one of them set out to become a hero They stood for a certain standard and once something came in between them and what they truly cared about the heroism came out Nobody asks for Soviets to invade their country be a sex slave a prisoner of the gulags or be put up against the likes of Lex Luthor It is what we do as individuals when these situations arise that can lead to the classification of hero or not

View Full Document


Join to view Learning and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

We will never post anything without your permission.
Don't have an account?
Sign Up

Join to view Learning and access 3M+ class-specific study document.


By creating an account you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use

Already a member?