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Myths and Heroes

In: English and Literature

Submitted By phgrun
Words 642
Pages 3
I am going to talk about the concept of myths and heroes. First of all, I would like to give a definition of this notion. A myth is a fictitious story which narrates the foundations of a given community. These narratives can convey the ideals of this community and create or perpetuate inspiring heroic figures. In this case, the concept of myths and heroes then serves a more profound purpose in our culture than mere fictional stories. To illustrate this, I have chosen to focus my thought on people's successful careers, that is to say people who started from scratch and reach the top of the social ladder. How can myths and heroes influence people's careers ? Aiming at answering this issue, I will exhibit a rags-to-riches life which is a symbol of the American Dream. Then I will show that political heroes could inspire society as well.

First and foremost, one cannot deny that society is based on founding myths, a collective identity forged around common landmarks and shared values. As elsewhere, but even more so the myths of “The American Dream” in the United States is a great example. Indeed it promotes the idea that not only is personal fulfillment due to honesty and hard-working but it is based also on God’s will. As a captain of industry and a generous philanthropist , Rockefeller is a case in point. He was a role model who likely fostered the American spirit of competitiveness, innovation and entrepreneurship. In the same token, we studied the rags-to-riches life of Oprah Winfrey in an article taken from the website Oprah Winfrey overcame the obstacles of being an African American girl in the South in the 50s and 60s to achieve her goal. She started her own show which soon became the Oprah Winfrey talk-show. Her outlet was a tool to broadcast her principles which influenced America. As well as funding her magazine, her website and her own TV-channel, she used her fame to found her charity and financed several houses and schools in South Africa. Hence she is a typical example of a self-made woman. Both Rockefeller and Oprah Winfrey climbed the social ladder although they had started from the very first rung. Therefore in every respect their career paths inspire the whole America.

Moreover we studied an example of a successful political career by reading an article published in the American high quality newspaper "The new York Times". It referred to Mandela's Death. Mandela is a relevant illustration of the notion of heroes as it shows how a single man has changed people’s minds. Indeed he put an end to decades of racial division and created a peaceful Rainbow Nation. He was regarded as a symbol of goodness by spending his retirement years focused on charitable causes for children and the struggle against AIDS. The journalist drew our attention to the fact that thanks to his tireless struggle for freedom and his insistence on forgiveness over vengeance, Mandela inspired millions to a spirit of reconciliation, including Barack Obama. The latter has become the first Black president of his country and won the Nobel Peace Prize, just like Mandela. They are both examples of successful careers which endorse egalitarianism to fulfill our dreams.

To put it in a nutshell, it seems to me that heroes influence people's careers by their commitment to defend and promote honorable values and their strong personalities. Thanks to their prominent presence, they act as model. However, even if you may get some inspiration from mystical stories and iconic figures, in the end you will have to face reality and be aware of the imperfection of mankind. In this way, we could also regard many captains of industries as robber barons because they often obtained power and wealth through cold-hearted exploitation.

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