Essay topics: 44. Claim: It is no longer possible for a society to regard any living man or woman as a hero.
Reason: The reputation of anyone who is subjected to media scrutiny will eventually be diminished.
I disagree with both the ‘claim’ part of the topic and the ‘reason’ part which is induced to support the ‘claim’ part. In the given argument, the author claims that any man or woman no longer can be treated as a hero because of the degradation of his or her reputation by a press. However, both the argument and its supporting idea can be effectively denied.
First, though it is plausible to assume that the scrutiny of media can tarnish the whole fame of any great individuals by focusing on their personal faults, however, sometimes people who fought against the unjust society and lead tremendous numbers of followers might be free from these assaults. For example, let me illustrate the example of Gandhi who has been personified as an icon of the resistance without violence. It is not widely known that he actually had a tendency of incorrigible misogamy, and the press who toed the British government tried to issue this personal predilection. However, this attempt did not gain much attention from public because the vast majority of people had taken more attention on idolization of him. The press, rather had been helpful to Gandhi by issuing his activities. For example, when Gandhi was imprisoned for his famous ‘Salt March’ in 1930 against the high tax imposed on imported salt, the press made lots of issues of Gandhi, eventually maximized his influence against the British government. By pondering this case, we can understand the scrutiny of media can lead a great individual as a hero.
Second, heroes can be judged by their accomplishments and brevity, not by their personal imperfections. Even if the media revealed their shortcomings, their reputations still can be untouched. There are great alive individuals who earned the titles because of their brave actions at the crossroads of life and death. Suppose a gallant soldier who injured when he tried to save his companions during a fierce battle. He successfully rescued many soldiers, and he has been decorated with ‘medal of honor’ which is the highest grade of medal from US government. However, by the scrutiny of media, it has been disclosed that this valiant soldier was once a troubled teenager who had been involved with many delinquencies. In this case, can we judge him as a hero? How about a fire fighter who fearlessly rushed into the World Trade Center to save the people, but he had lots of troubles with his own family? Can we judge them based on their imperfections? It is reasonable to conclude that they are still heroes regardless of minor shortcomings.
All in all, a detailed report from media might not able to harm the reputation of a hero because the scrutiny of media which is disclosing a hero’s flaws can be largely ignored by the reputation and influence of him. A living man can be a hero if he proved himself with exceptional brevity and accomplishment.
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