ENG201 Jordan_3RD

ENG201 Jordan_3RD - Sarah Jordan March 3, 2011 English 201...

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Sarah Jordan March 3, 2011 English 201 Modern Day Heroism A hero is someone who has courage, honor, and perseverance, no matter the circumstance. When it comes to athletes, the definition could vary greatly depending on the person. In the two articles “The Last American Hero” by Tom Wolfe and “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu” by John Updike, two different athletes careers and personal lives are discussed, as well as what makes them, by the author’s definition, a hero. Wolfe and Updike both have similar beliefs of heroism, but have completely different ways of representing heroes. Wolfe starts off his article with a descriptive anecdote of driving out to the stock car races to see Junior Johnson, a stock car racer of North Carolina, race. His positive imagery of what was on the radio and the traffic he was stuck in while waiting to get to the racetrack allowed the reader to become interested in the Southern lifestyle of cuisine and sports. Wolfe uses his personal experiences of the race throughout the article to get the reader engaged, understand the sport better, and get a feel for the fans excitement and admiration for Johnson. By time Junior Johnson is introduced and you have a general understanding of his history, terms like “legendary” and “modern day hero” are constantly being brought up. Wolfe constantly brings up the key word “hero”, allowing readers to view Johnson in a positive, respective light. Right off the bat, Johnson is introduced as an inspirational legendary hero, “Junior Johnson is a modern hero, all involved, with car culture and car symbolism in the South” (Wolfe 27). Johnson’s local fans of North Carolina, as well as the South, idolized him because of their mutual connection to
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the South. In addition, Wolfe’s informal writing style full of exclamation points and enthusiasm allows the reader to become excited about Johnson’s heroism as an athlete and the sport he is a part of. At one point during the race, Wolfe tries to explain the excitement with, “…and then Ggghhzzzzzzhhhhhgggggzzzzzzeeeeong – gawdam! There he goes again, it was him, Junior Johnson!” (Wolfe 25). At the end of the article, Wolfe sums up the overall excitement occurring through his play-by-play. This allowed the readers to feel a part of an exciting, uplifting experience. Wolfe spends a good part of the article going in depth about Johnson and the sport of stock car racing. He makes Johnson’s history inspirational and only has positive things to say about his past. Wolfe makes sure to focus on key points during the article that portray to the reader why Johnson is considered a southern hero. For example, Johnson learned how to drive by running whiskey for his father; Johnson was idolized in his hometown for being a rebel and
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ENG201 Jordan_3RD - Sarah Jordan March 3, 2011 English 201...

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