Type of paper: Essay

Topic: History, People, Literature, Teenagers, Youth, Life, America, United States

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/01/09

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The concept of heroification is quite accurate nowadays. It is a common practice to make people heroes despite their drawbacks and negative features so that they would inspire other people. Some historians are ready to omit certain facts from people’s lives in order to save their images of heroes. This problem is presented in the works Lies my Teacher Told me and The Shoemaker and the Tea Party written by James Loewen and Alfred F. Young correspondently. Both author raise in their works the following questions: How can an ordinary person get his place in history? How are the heroes introduced in the history? What makes them different from other people? What facts from their biographies are preferred not to be mentioned? The argument made by the authors is clear. Unfortunately, but the history may be at times rather speculative when it tries to turn certain characters into heroes and points only on some episodes of their lives without a thorough analysis of their personalities. In such a way history imposes its opinion on people.
Thus, Young in his work The Shoemaker and the Tea Party tries to understand why George Hewes became a prominent figure in American history. Thus, he participated in the Revolution but he didn’t take part in its most prominent events. In fact, Hewes was discovered by journalist Hawkes only by an “accidental concurrence of events” (Young 8). He simply found him among thousand personal narratives and decided to interview him and listen to his own story and his feelings about revolution. That is how Hewes turned into hero. Moreover, Young claims that in reality people didn’t know much about his character. Thus, he says that “one suspects he had been a much more angry and aggressive younger man than he or his biography convey” (Young xviii). These words serve an example that sometimes historians put a great emphasis on people’s deeds and try to present their heroes in more positive light without mentioning the other side of their personality. Throughout his book Young is interested in why it is mainly Hewes who was chosen to become a hero and the rest of his peers were forgotten.
James Loewen dedicates a lot of attention to the theme of heroification as well. Therefore, the author states that “our educational media turn flesh-and-blood individuals into pious, perfect creatures without conflicts, pain, credibility, or human interest” (Loewen 9). Furthermore the author supports his opinion with distinct examples of how the characters of Woodrow Wilson and Helen Keller are portrayed in modern history. Thus, people remember Helen Keller as blind and deaf girl who managed to overcome her adversity. It is definitely arouses sympathy in readers hearts. But if one asks them who she was or what she did there would hardly be a person who knows the answer. People are interested in the way she managed to live with her handicaps but they are completely ignorant about the rest of her life. For example, no one knew that Keller was a radical socialist.
Another remarkable example of heroification in history is the character of Woodrow Wilson and the way he is portrayed in history. Thus, many American history textbooks describe Wilson as a very important president. However, there are still many facts about his life that are usually underrepresented. It is true that many people didn’t know about his antidemocratic policies such as racial segregation as well as interventions in Latin America. It should be noted that during his ruling, The US intervened in Latin America more than during the whole history. But it seems that historians are quite ignorant of this fact. Many of them do not include this information in his biography and those who do so try to justify his actions. In fact, some historians blame the countries that were invaded. Thus, they try to depict Wilson in a favorable light in order not to destroy his image of a hero. Most of the text books that are used in school program do not mention Wilson’s racism as well and try to omit this theme. A lot of books on history try to depict him as a positive and important character which may be used as an inspirational model. At this event, the author came to the conclusion that “authors selectively omit blemishes to make certain historical figures sympathetic to as many people as possible” (Loewen 23). Therefore, it is possible to say that history at times turns into fairy tale with perfect characters. Thus, Wilson states that it is wrong to try to make heroes from certain personalities and to omit important facts from their lives. The author believes that this omission of facts makes students blind when speaking about historical events. That is precisely why he criticizes heroification in history.

Works cited

Loewen, James. Lies my Teacher Told me. Print.
Young, Alfred F. The Shoemaker and the Tea Party. Print

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WePapers. (2021, January, 09) History And Heroism Essays Examples. Retrieved September 16, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/history-and-heroism-essays-examples/
"History And Heroism Essays Examples." WePapers, 09 Jan. 2021, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/history-and-heroism-essays-examples/. Accessed 16 September 2021.
WePapers. 2021. History And Heroism Essays Examples., viewed September 16 2021, <https://www.wepapers.com/samples/history-and-heroism-essays-examples/>
WePapers. History And Heroism Essays Examples. [Internet]. January 2021. [Accessed September 16, 2021]. Available from: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/history-and-heroism-essays-examples/
"History And Heroism Essays Examples." WePapers, Jan 09, 2021. Accessed September 16, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/history-and-heroism-essays-examples/
WePapers. 2021. "History And Heroism Essays Examples." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved September 16, 2021. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/history-and-heroism-essays-examples/).
"History And Heroism Essays Examples," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 09-Jan-2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/history-and-heroism-essays-examples/. [Accessed: 16-Sep-2021].
History And Heroism Essays Examples. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/history-and-heroism-essays-examples/. Published Jan 09, 2021. Accessed September 16, 2021.
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