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Identifying a hero in "The Great Gatsby" The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and "Small Island".

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?In a narrative, there is usually a hero or heroine, a protagonist on whose fate the readers? interest in the story principally rests? A protagonist is a leading character. In the texts I have studied, there are often a characters which the reader are encourages to be drawn towards. We are endeared to them and the story is often focused around them. In The Great Gatsby, even the title encourages the reader to feel that the story is about his character, especially as Nick?s accounts are designed to be in order to recover the truth about Gatsby. It is important to note that even though Nick is the one telling the story, his character is presented as a first person modified narrator. It is often the case when the voice of the text is also the main focus/hero of the text, however in this case Nick is merely an onlooker. As readers, Fitzgerald presents Nick as being in awe of Gatsby ?he had an extraordinary sense of hope? and appears to look favourably upon him. ...read more.


Having the word ?ancient? gives the sense that there is something mystical about the Mariner, as well as being old. The fact that Coleridge decides to use the word ?rime? instead of the modern writing of ?rhyme? also adds to this effect. Despite hearing numerous voices throughout the poem, such as the Wedding Guest, 'Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!', it is the Mariner?s tale we are hearing and therefore him who we relate back to. This tale of morality with its numerous religious connotations, ?Heaven's Mother send us grace!? is told by the Mariner to the Wedding Guest and in some aspects, Coleridge may be encouraging us to put ourselves in the place of the Wedding Guest. It often feels that the Mariner is talking directly at the reader when putting oneself in such a position, ?And I had done a hellish thing, And it would work 'em woe?. Being a morality tale, it takes us through the process of redemption and the idea of free will. ...read more.


Other characters use other ways to endear the readers to them, such as pity in Hortense?s case, ? She then shut the door in my face.?. On the other hand, if I were to chose a main hero for the text, I would nominate Hortense?s character. I feel that this novel is very much a struggle between the two races, of black mixing with white people, and we as readers appear to be following Hortense?s struggle to adapt herself in the Mother Country. The other characters only seem to be included within the story in order to reflect upon Hortense; Gilbert is her husband, Queenie her landlady and Bernard an outsider with similar views as Mr Todd in his ideas of ?darkies?. Gilbert is also adapting himself to the ways of the English, Queenie accepts the coloured people as who they are yet Bernard is portrayed as the stereotypical individual who is against the coming together of two nations. Having Hortense as the heroine of the novel draws all the other characters together and gives the readers someone to rest their interests upon. ...read more.

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