American Heroes, Myth and Reality

By Marshall W. Fishwick | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 15
The Emerging American Hero

"The historic memory goes back through long defiles of doom."--Herman Melville.

"Every historical change creates its mythology." -Bronislaw Malinowski.

Being a modern hero is difficult and perplexing. "It is not only that there is no hiding place for the gods from the searching telescope. There is no such society any more as the gods once supported. The social unit is not a carrier of religious content, but an economic-political organization."1Corrado Alvaro finds The Hero in Crisis, and Ortega y Gasset, a century suffering from the intervention of the mass man into everything. Harrison Smith ascribes the woes of contemporary fiction to the disappearance of the hero, who is really nothing more than a victim. Technology and science are said to have withered up our grass roots, and capitalism our sense of community. "There is no culture where economic relations are not subject to a regulating principle to protect interests involved," Gasset claims.2 We are told that once America had a culture without a civilization, and now a civilization without a culture.

Others bewail the fate of mythology. "Myths are construed simply by the hard Occidental mind--they are lies," writes John Crowe Ransom in God Without Thunder. "They are not nearly good enough for the men in our twentieth century generation, brought up in the climatic blessedness of our scientific world." With many words contemporary critics repeat what Nietzsche said in five: "Dead are all the gods."

They are wrong. Mythology cannot be superceded or elimin-

-224-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
American Heroes, Myth and Reality
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 242

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.