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Antiheroes are the protagonists that do not have hero-like qualities and characteristics, such as Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosis and Isa in "American School". After much analyzing, these two characters can be understood as antiheros.

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Introduction

The Pathetic Gregor and Isa Does every story need a hero? Not necessarily, but every story does need a leading character. But does that make him or her they hero of the story? Not precisely. Many leading characters do not possess heroic qualities, therefore they are called antiheros. Antiheroes are the protagonists that do not have hero-like qualities and characteristics, such as Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosis and Isa in "American School". After much analyzing, these two characters can be understood as antiheros. Who are antiheroes? An antihero, according to the literacy glossary on Norton's website, is a leading character who does not possess typical hero-like and tends to be an ordinary, or even less than, average person. An antihero can be any leading characters, where race, gender, and even social status are not taken into consideration. The characteristics of antiheroes are defined by Webster's Online Dictionary by "lacking in heroic qualities". Therefore, antiheroes are opposite of heroes in characteristics, views, and qualities. To better understand antiheroes, defining a hero is a must. Hero is "a mythological or legendary figure" with "great strength or ability" and is "admired for his achievements" and "great courage". (Webster) An antihero must not have heroic qualities such as courage, daring, self-sacrificing, impressive size, and power. Therefore, qualities of an antihero include average characters, lacks courage, inferior, belittled, shy, and a follower. ...read more.

Middle

Heroic qualities include courage and leadership, both he lacks due to his choice of being pushed around at his job. Gregor is also a slave and coward towards his family. Gregor expressed "if [he] weren't holding back his parents, [he] would had given notice long ago". (2000) If Gregor was courageous, he would have stand up to his family and ask them for understand why he cannot stand his job any longer. He should have suggests a word or two asking his family members to help with the income. Instead, he accepts his responsibility and the endless mindless work is what caused him to transform into a bug, and eventually leading to his death. Gregor is viewed as antiheroic because he did not receive the proper respect from his family and coworkers, who all look upon him as a pest and annoyance instead of care and love because of all the assistance he provided. Towards the end of the story, the family's dislike of Gregor is expressed when his father and sister decided how to get rid of him, saying "We've got to get red of it", referring to Gregor as an "it" instead of a "him". (2026) The lack of respect from his family shows his insignificance and how he can be understood as an antihero. Isa is another interesting protagonist in Kojima Nobuo's "American School". ...read more.

Conclusion

(2595) Isa should have stood up for himself and tell Yamada no, he does not need a ride. Instead, he allows Yamada to order him what to do, despite his fear of being in a Jeep with Americans. He is content with being viewed as timid and weak, just as long as he is not embarrassed or attract any attention. A hero will never let him be pushed around or ordered what to do. This is why Isa is an antihero. Although the story is focus around him, he does not portray himself as the typical lead character, or a hero of a short story. Both Gregor Samsa and Isa are antiheroes of their own story. Both may have a conviction to live and move forth, but neither would stand up for himself, let himself be viewed as inferior, and act cowardice. Antiheroes are followers, fearful, insignificant, and pathetic. The characteristics of the antiheroic qualities fit both Gregor's and Isa's character description. This is why they are understood as the story's antiheroes. Works Cite Page Merriam, Charles, and George Merriam. Merriam-Webster Online. 2005. 04 Apr. 2005 <http://webster.com>. Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. The Norton Anthology of World Literature Vol. F. Ed. Sarah Lawall. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2002. 1999-2030. Nubuo, Kojima. "American School." The Norton Anthology of World Literature Vol. F. Ed. Sarah Lawall. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2002. 2585-2606. W.W. Norton & Company. 2005. 04 Apr. 2005 <http://www.wwnorton.com/>. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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