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What Makes a Hero?

What makes a hero? After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, it seems that our concept of heroism has changed. Where before we might talk about famous athletes, rock stars, and actors, now we are thinking about ordinary people such as firemen and policemen risking their own lives to save others. We are thinking about workers in the World Trade Center who helped disabled people down flights and flights of stairs rather than escaping themselves. We are thinking about the passengers on United Flight 93, who decided to attack the hijackers and prevent their airplane from being used to attack others. As the Chronicle of Higher Education put it, we are talking about “ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”

In a well-organized essay, answer the following question:

In your opinion, what makes a hero? In answering this question you may want to discuss how your attitudes toward heroism have changed over time, and what people and events have influenced you. Support your ideas with specific experiences in your own life or that you have experienced through television, movies, books or other media.

Required Text Entry Length: 400 to 600 words


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