Sample Essay - Score of 6
There are many types of heroes in real life or in literature, but the most courageous type of all is the one who is willing to stand up and say what he truly believe in even when everyone else lacks the courage to do so. Many people are content to go through life following the crowd. They will buy ideas that society says is right on face value, even when they know in their heart they are wrong, unjust, or even evil. A hero is one who is willing to give up his position in society and tell the world what he believes is right.
The abolitionists, such as Harriet Beecher Stowe and William Lloyd Garrison, were heroes in their own time. Before the Civil War, people in all sections of the country thought that African Americans were animals and treated them as such. During the reform period of the Jacksonian era William Lloyd Garrison began to publish his abolitionist newspaper The Liberator. In this newspaper he demanded that the African American slaves be set free immediately, without any compensation to their owners. Because his view on slavery was against the common belief of the population he was not received well. Throughout his life he was given multiple death threats and one of his abolitionist friends was killed. Harriet Beecher Stowe was an abolitionist after Garrison’s time, but she was received in much of the same way. After the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was released, she wrote the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It was a story of a slave living in the South and the cruelty of his owner. The inhumanness of the owner caused many southerners to ban the book in anger, but at the same time it brought the terrible act of slavery to the light. Many northerners used this book as a weapon against the South’s peculiar institution.
IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools ……
Rudyard Kipling wrote in this poem “If” that you will be a man if you can stand up and say what you believe in when all men around you doubt you. Heroes must have the courage to risk everything they love to stand up for themselves in the face of opposition. Both William Lloyd Garrison and Harriet Beecher Stowe stood up against a society which had accepted slavery as a right. They believed that what their heart told them was right and risked everything to tell the public what they believed in. These two people have hopefully shown others to believe in themselves and what they view in their hearts.