Fictional and Non-fictional Hero Comparison Essay - Comparing the Novel Long Distance Life by Maria Golden and The Diary of Anne Frank by Otto H. Frank

Fictional and Non-fictional Hero Comparison Essay - Comparing the Novel Long Distance Life by Maria Golden and The Diary of Anne Frank by Otto H. Frank

Heroes are appreciated and admired throughout the world. They are well known for their courageous acts of bravery, whether they are in fictional or non-fictional novels or movies. This essay will compare the Long Distance Life, a fictional novel, written by Maria Golden and The Diary of Anne Frank written by Otto H. Frank. In Long Distance Life, I felt that Naomi, the main character was a perfect example of a non-fictional hero. Naomi grew up as a black, African-American slave who fought to keep her children from being trapped in an unfair and unjust world of prejudices. She had many setbacks in her life beginning with a very young pregnancy, as well as suffering from the death of her husband, Rayford. Years later Naomi’s daughter, Esther, became romantically involved with an older, married man. Nine months later they had a child. Even though Esther’s life appeared to be falling apart, as Randolph was never around for emotional and moral support, she was also in financial trouble. However, Naomi never gave up on her daughter and was there for the guidance and support of her grandson. Naomi helped put Esther’s life back on track, by insisting that she get a job to pay the bills and taught her how to raise her son. In my fictional novel, the Diary of Anne Frank, there was not just one hero, but several. The first hero was Anne’s father, Otto Frank. Otto Frank was a hero to his family and to the others that lived in the “Secret Annexe” (an old office building), as he did not allow the Gestapo to destroy the spirit of his family. He immediately took the initiative to make sure that his family was as safe as possible. He always remained calm and patient, especially when all the others in the attic began to get extremely frantic with living in such a confined area with one another. Their freighting thought of being discovered by the Gestapo was always on their minds. The other heroes in this novel were Kraler and Miep (2 Germans) who put their lives in jeopardy for the Frank’s and the Van Daan’s (the other family living in the Secret Annexe). Kraler and Miep were the one’s who provided the Secret Annexe and collected the basic needs for the two families (e.g. food, clothing and information about the war. Naomi, Otto Frank, Kraler and Miep can be compared the setting, over coming obstacles, and how they put their own lives on the line for others without any hesitation. Knowing the outcome of the situation, from this comparison we can learn how important family really is and how we can lean on each other for support in times of need and realize they are always there for you no matter what the circumstance may be.

In Long Distance Life the hero role was played by Naomi who went through many hardships such as: slavery, young, teenage pregnancy, suffering from the death of her husband and having to deal with a rebellious daughter, Esther, who, like her mother, unfortunately became pregnant at a young age. Although Naomi did not have to defeat any evil villains, she is still considered a hero as she fought to give her daughter the best life that she knew she could have. She strived to protect her daughter from racism and slavery of black people by moving out of Detroit and into Spring Hope, North Carolina. When Naomi’s husband sadly passed away due to cancer, she gave Esther all the support, that was inside herself, by taking her places, talking to her, and re-living the precious memories they had together as a family. Once Esther reached her rebellious stage (being with an older, married man and getting pregnant by him) Naomi never gave up on her. She helped Esther raise her son and supported her while she searched for a descent, good, paying job. Naomi was not judged as a fighting hero, but was considered a hero because she helped her daughter discover herself and live a good life that she knew Esther deserved. In The Diary of Anne Frank, the setting changed immensely as Anne, her family and friends were put into a life and death situation. As the Nazis began occupying Holland, many Jews were being taken to concentration camps. There they would be brutally beaten and most likely killed.

Otto Frank didn’t want his family to suffer in that same way so he made the decision into hiding in the “Secret Annexe”. There the two families feared being discovered by the Gestapo. If the Gestapo had found them they would be immediately taken to different concentration camps and chances were they would never see their families again. However, both these heroes had life changing acts that occurred in their lives. For instance, Naomi fought to give her daughter a better life than she had. Otto Frank fought so hard to keep his family alive and safe by being very strict with no movement during the hours of 8:00am to 6:00 pm, while living in the secret annexe, and by taking other precautions to be safe and not be discovered. Both families struggled to help out another family member in order to give them a better and more humane life. As you have read, both families had very tough lives, but never gave up. Naomi never gave up on her daughter and continuously tried to help her, even when Esther pushed her away. Otto Frank never gave up on their dream of being free and alive. While his family and many others feared for their lives, he remained calm and composed by talking about old memories they had together. “Mama told me that I’m still too young for a man, said a man wouldn’t do me any good.” (Golden, 92). This quote explains how Naomi was trying to help Esther by telling her that she doesn’t need a man in her life to make her feel happy. “ So, we walked in the pouring rain, Daddy, Mummy, and I each with a school satchel and shopping bag filled to the brim with all kinds of things thrown together anyhow.” (Frank, 16). This quote is when Anne and her family moved into the attic. Throughout these difficult times in these heroes’ lives, their family continuously gave them support and comfort throughout their situations.

Any type of hero, no matter who they are or what setting they’re in, must overcome many obstacles. In Long Distance Life Naomi had to endure many hardships that would benefit her and her family. Naomi had to undergo slavery, pregnancy, death and a troubled teen. No matter what setbacks Naomi had she always found a way to overcome them. Naomi conjured the problems with her troubled daughter by talking and helping her cope with her struggles of being pregnant and of course never seeing Randolph. Even though Esther tried pushing her mother away, Naomi never relinquished. She gave Esther her space, but told her that she was always going to be there for her no matter what. Naomi never let herself fail even when she felt like there was nothing that she could for Esther. She strived to give her daughter the freedom, trust and respect that Naomi never had when she was younger. Naomi was always just viewed as a black woman. Many white people never took the time to really get to know her or see who she was on the inside, they only looked at the colour of her skin. Naomi paid no attention to those racist comments. The more hardships that were thrown her way, made her strive ever harder to get through them. Compared to The Diary of Anne Frank, where their main goal was to survive the invasion of the Nazis. While living in the Secret Annexe there was always constant fear of being discovered by the Gestapo and then being separated from each other. As many months went by, the Frank’s and the Van Daan’s were cut off from the outside world, they feared hunger, constant boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters and most of all the threat of being discovered by the Gestapo. As many of the people inside the attic began feeling fear and frustration Otto Frank kept calm. His patience showed the others that they would survive. He tried not to show the fear from being caught by the Nazis, as he would have scared the others. Kraler and Miep helped them get over these obstacles by bring food and other basic necessities to them on a daily routine along with giving information about the war. This gave them all hope in surviving! In Long Distance Life, Naomi had to go through many hardships such as dealing with slavery, a young pregnancy, the death of her husband, and a rebellious daughter. Even though Esther just wanted to be left alone and not be bothered by her mother, Naomi respectfully gave her, some space, but told Esther how she felt about her dating a much older, married man. She told Esther how she needed to initiate much more responsibility because she now has a son. Esther finally saw what her mother was trying to teach her and therefore grew into a more responsible person and mother. In the Diary of Anne Frank, Anne and her family also struggled to survive. They had to endure boredom, hunger, close confinement, and the fact of being discovered by the Gestapo. Anne’s father, Otto, stood by his family and friends, while they feared being discovered by the Nazis. He took more people in the attic and tried to reminisce about happier times, which seemed to keep the others calm. “You don’t have to have it, “ Naomi said simply when Esther told her.”

…” And I will be honest with you Esther, I wish you wouldn’t. I know a doctor who can…” (Golden, 113). This quote explains how Naomi was trying to help Esther make an important decision of keeping her baby. “ Today, Miep and Kraler are coming to give us more food. Daddy said that they have to careful when they come.” (Frank, 75). This quote shows how fast their food runs out and how Miep and Kraler have to be very secretive about going into the secret annexe because if someone ever caught them, they Gestapo would find the Franks and Van Daans. Even though these two heroes were having difficulties in their own, personal lives, they always took the time to assist and stand by others.

No matter the setting or obstacles in the hero’s way, the hero must find a way around it and put their lives in danger for another life. Realistically, when it comes to putting others before yourself there is a major difference between fiction and non-fiction. In Long Distance Life Esther neglected her son and felt like she had to love him, like it was mandatory to love her son. Esther often felt like a failure in raising her son because Randolph would rarely visit them, which triggered a feeling, which made her try end her life. After an attempt to commit suicide, that was unsuccessful, Naomi gave Esther several talks about how she would be disappointing her son if she weren’t around to see him succeed in life. Even though Esther tried to kill herself, since it is non-fiction it wouldn’t actually happen, as it isn’t true. Compared to the Diary of Anne Frank where they were put into a situation of life or death. Otto Frank put his life on the line as he took a chance and took another family in and gave them a place to be safe from the enemy. Kraler and Miep risked their very own lives in order to help out the Frank and Van Daan families. If they were caught helping Jews, they also would be sent to the concentration camps themselves. They gave them their basic needs daily and visited them frequently to see if they were managing. If the Gestapo did find them hiding, then they would have been separated, tortured and possibly killed. This novel was based on a true story and therefore all of the facts that happened in the novel were true as they were in the eyes of 13-year-old Anne Frank. Both heroes risked everything in order to help a close friend or family. Naomi jeopardized her freedom and own life when helping Esther raise her son. It was Naomi who choose to provide clothes and keep food on the table for her grandson. Naomi continued to work, while Esther cried and gave herself sympathy for not being a good mother, and letting Naomi raise her son, instead of herself. Otto Frank risked his life and other’s by hiding in the secret annexe for two years. At any given time the Gestapo could have easily took them to the concentration camps and killed them. Thankfully, Otto Frank never let that happen, he wouldn’t let them take his family and friends without a fight. Kraler and Miep risked their very own lives, as they were the ones who hid the two families from the Gestapo. They brought them their daily necessities such as food, clothing, and blankets. If the Gestapo found out that these two Germans were helping Jews, they would have been sent off to concentration camps themselves. “ She took the butcher knife she had hidden beneath the mattress with the rope and jabbed in the right side of her.” ( Golden, 140). This quote shows how Esther truely wasn’t ready to be a mother and how she felt like a failure, so she tried to commit suicide. Luckily, Naomi called the ambulance and was able to give her several talks about responsibility. Naomi continued to give her helped her raise her son to give her some time to recuperate. “ The English have begun their big attack on Cherbourg; according to Pim and the Van Daans, we’re sure to be free by October 10.” (Frank, 252). This quote shows how the war had began and how the other countries had come to help the Jews put an end to the concentration camps. This gave the Franks and Van Daans all hope in surviving through this extremely difficult time. In these two novels family and friends meant everything because if it weren’t for Naomi, Esther would have abandoned her son and ran off with another man as she was not mature enough she did not want to raise a son, as she was not ready. If it weren’t for Kraler and Miep and Otto Frank, the Franks and Van Daan’s wouldn’t have survived for those two years.

Fictional and non-fictional heroes are alike, but they do differ in many ways. After considering their differences and similarities for the setting, overcoming obstacles and putting their lives on the line for other, I found that there is no better hero as a fictional and non-fictional hero because they both have the same goal; to help others when help is needed. Both types of heroes must endure different types of settings, different obstacles, and are put into different life or death situations. However, both heroes must still embark upon these journeys, they may not be the situation, but do involve helping another human being. I now understand that both types of heroes do extremely good deeds and will put their very own lives on the line without hesitation! Heroes are heroes in our own eyes no matter who they are or what they do. The importance of family and friends was the main lesson learned from my novels as you can always count on your family and your friends for being there for you when you need them the most.