When we think of heroes, we think of firemen, police officers, and soldiers. We don’t think of our neighbors, dads, or friends. Being a hero does not mean we have to put ourselves in front of danger all the time, it is about having the right qualities and displaying those qualities. Being a hero boils down to a few main qualities. These qualities, which can be exhibited in anyway, are qualities that are quite important to being considered a hero. The main qualities are courage, selflessness, integrity, mental strength.
The episode, “Mr.Plow” is a part of a series called “The Simpsons”. In the Simpsons, the main character, Homer Simpson, does many stupid things, most of which put his family or himself in danger. By the end of each episode, Homer finds a way to fix any situation. In the episode “Mr. Plow”, Homer puts one of his friends in danger, but becomes a hero by displaying courage, selflessness, integrity, and mental strength to save his friend from death. The episode “Mr. Plow”, was a typical Simpsons episode. In the beginning, Homer was drinking at the bar, and his wife, Marge, asked him to come home because it was snowing outside.
So homer drives home drunk and ends up wrecking the car, into his other car at his own house. Once he lied to the Insurance Agent, he went out to buy a new vehicle. While he is at the auto show, he buys a snow plow and hopes that he can make some extra money by plowing people’s driveways and parking lots. This new scheme of his backfires very quickly when his friend Barney, starts his own plow business. Homer is frustrated by his friend betraying him, and tries to trick Barney by sending him up the mountain to plow a fake driveway.
While Barney is up there, he is trapped in an avalanche and is certain to die, unless someone can save him. Homer feels the need to save Barney, and braves the mountain to save his friend. The episode ends with the two friends embracing each other and the snow melting. A little more than halfway thru the episode, Homer made a horrible decision. “Homer gets an idea. He calls Barney with a disguised voice asking him to plow his driveway atop Widow’s Peak. “ (Mr. Plow) In his heart, Homer figured it would waste some time for Barney, so that he could make some extra money, by stealing his clients.
Hours later, Homer is watching the news while counting his money, and sees a “News flash: Barney was caught in an avalanche at Widow’s Peak. The shocking event was captured on film by a FOX camera crew filming “In Search of Bigfoot. ” The scene of Bigfoot is ruined when the guy in the ape suit forgets to take off his watch before shooting begins. Off to the side is Barney studying a map. He belches, and the sound induces the avalanche, burying him” (Mr. Plow). Almost instantly, Homer feels guilt and decides that he needs to save his friend, Barney. At this point, Homer becomes the hero.
By deciding to save Barney, Homer shows courage to try to define a dangerous mountain in the snow. Courage is not giving up, not giving in when the situation gets tough. The mountain that Homer was facing was not only dangerous in the snow, but there had been a recent avalanche. Homer chooses that saving his friend is more important. Halfway up the mountain while trying to save Barney, Homer almost falls down the dangerous cliff face when the rocks give way underneath. At that moment, most people would climb out of the truck, and call it quits. Homer knows what to do and calmly rights the truck and continues on his way to save his friend.
He shows courage to keep fighting and drives up the mountain to save his friend. Courage alone is not what only defines a hero, selflessness does as well. Acting selfless is an incredibly hard thing to do as a human. We are programmed to always think about ourselves first and how outcomes can help us. Acting selfless means we put our priorities aside and help our fellow man, making sure that their needs are satisfied. Homer had no incentive to save Barney. If he saved Barney, he was not going to be rich or famous. He would still be working the same dead end job at the Nuclear power plant.
By having no incentive to save his friend, and still doing it shows that it was the most selfless act that Homer could have done. By saving his friend, he put not only his life, but the well-being of his family in danger. If he would have died, his family had very little to live on, and Marge would have had to get a job and raise three children on her own. By acting selfless, he showed how stupid he was, but how courageous he was, and how much of a hero he could be. Courage and selflessness is not the only two traits needed to be a hero, there is also integrity. Integrity is arguably the most important trait for a hero to possess.
It means doing the right action without anyone watching, or without recognition. Homer Simpson did not have to save Barney. That was a choice he made. After that choice was made, he made a number of other choices that showed he had integrity. He could have gone to the Police and asked for a search party to follow him up there, so when he saved Barney, he would have an audience. He could have called the news and had a chopper or crewing filming the daring rescue. He could have also drug his family along, like he normally does, to show them that he can do something good.
He did nothing; all he did was travel up the mountain and save his friend Barney. He showed an incredible amount of integrity. With these three traits, integrity, selflessness and courage, Homer is almost the complete hero. At this point, all Homer is lacking is mental strength. Mental strength is incredibly hard to possess as a person, mainly because it only shows when death is peering from around the corner. Mental strength is all about how you perceive a situation to be. If you are stranded on an island, you may work hard to build a shelter and form a rescue signal; that is mental strength.
Many people will not face death more than once or twice in their lifetime. Homer faced death a couple times on that mountain but fought through it all to save his friend. He had a chance to turn back at the parking lot with the sign in front of him that the mountain is 13000 feet tall. Homer started his truck right up and starting drive. His first dealing with death was “to cross a dangerous chasm, Homer braves a dilapidated rope bridge” (Mr. Plow). He could have very easily fallen off the bridge and plummeted to his death. He fought on, and drove across.
Next, he faced the side of the mountain as he almost fell to his death. “Making its way along a precarious ledge, the truck loses its traction and teeters ever-so-precariously over the edge. Homer carefully turns the radio dial towards the upper end of the dial, and this proves enough to tip the truck back to safety” (Mr. Plow). He could have turned back multiple times, or given up, but he stayed strong and focused on the task at hand and moved on. By displaying incredibly mental strength, Homer has displayed all four traits to be a hero. Any sane person would have call the authorities and let them save Barney.
As a good friend, Homer made the decision that he needed to save Barney. Sometimes, the right thing is not the easiest, and that is something that heroes have to deal with from time to time. The four traits: courage, selflessness, integrity, and mental strength are important because they allow a hero to overcome any challenge he may face. If Homer would have possessed those traits, he would not have been able to save his friend, Barney. Throughout the final scene, he continually displays these traits and shows how much of a hero he is when he rescues his friend Barney from certain death.