Heroes And Heroines 

                                       (Stephen Leacock)

Heroes and Heroines is a humorous story. The writer has ridiculed the popular idea about hero. He mocks the write that present the hero as a superman. The typical hero in most of the books and stories does the things, which are almost impossible for a common man to do.

 The writer, once, happed to see a boy who was reading a book “ Dauntless Ned Among The Cannibals” Ned, the hero, was caught among cannibals who were ready to eat him after boiling him in oil. The boy who was reading the book already knew that a Ned would succeed in saving himself from the cannibals. The same thing happened. Ned not only killed a few cannibals but also made good his escape. Now these things happen only in stories. In the real life miracles don’t happen.

Whatever difficult situation Ned is caught in, he comes out of it unharmed. He has the supreme qualities of strength, bravery, intelligence, politics and leadership. Even many of the historical events are attributed to him. For example, it is said that it was Ned who forced King John of England to sign the Magna Carta. It was Ned who helped the American forces in crossing the river Delaware. He encouraged George Washington and aided General Meade in their victories.

In the stories written for children, in which Ned appears as hero, there is almost no heroine. She is brought in the book in the last chapter. She is, in a way, the reward of the hero’s daring deeds. Ned, after so many adventures, marries a beautiful girl. Such marriages are arranged for political purposes to unit the enemy countries. Sometimes he marries a playmate of his childhood who had ever loved him.

Now all these things can be possible only in dreams. The author makes fun of the writers who attribute supernatural qualities to their heroes. He seems to say that a hero should look like a man, not a superman. If all heroes are presented with supernatural qualities, no one is going to believe them. Characters in stories should appear life-like and real. Only then they can impress the readers.


                            <<Back        HOME         Next>>