Orphans as Heroes

Discuss the June 2017 Book of the Month, Superhighway by Alex Fayman. Superhighway is the first book in the Superhighway Trilogy, so feel free to use this forum to discuss not only the first book but also the other books in the series.

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Miriam Molina
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Orphans as Heroes

Post by Miriam Molina »

In Superhighway, Alex grows up without parents, an orphan since birth.
Harry Potter was also an orphan; his parents were killed by Voldemort when he was a mere baby.
It seems orphans are likely heroes because their life experiences give them compassion and readers easily empathize with them.
Would you know of other orphan/heroes in books and movies? I'm quite sure there are a lot.

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Post by katiesquilts »

Does Batman count? lol
I'm actually quite a fan of the "orphan as a protagonist" plot. If we learn why they are orphans right away, the character is usually very emotionally structured, as you mentioned. If we don't really know what happened to their parents, then it gives us something to look forward to later in the novel/series. I love the moments when both the character and the readers learn some earth-shattering fact about the dead parents' past!

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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina »

Of course Bruce Wayne counts! Yes, our hearts go out to orphans. I recently lost my mom and it still pains me until now that she is no longer around.

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Post by Donnavila Marie01 »

Well, I believe it depends on the character of the orphan. Good for Harry Potter and Alex Fine because they turned their negative experience into a positive one.
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Post by Amagine »

There is a lot of famous fictional orphans. I like the idea of an orphan being a hero because it shows their resilience and inner strength.
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Post by Donnavila Marie01 »

It is amazing to note that in some fiction stories, orphans are the heroes. This sends me the message that orphans or anyone who comes from a dark secret may also bring light to everyone.
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Post by hsimone »

I'm not sure if I would consider Alex as a hero at this point, and I wouldn't compare him to Harry Potter. Yes, he does use some of the money to help the poor, but it wasn't necessary like Harry fighting off Voldemort was necessary. Also, Harry is a pretty selfless character in general, while Alex does indulge on millions of dollars on himself. Overall, I like the idea of orphans being heroes, but I don't see Alex as one.
"Love is patient, love is kind." -1 Corinthians 13:4

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Post by jemgirl202 »

Bruce Wayne, Matt Murdock, (Daredevil), Tony Stark (Ironman), I believe Hawkeye was an orphan too, catwoman, I am sure there is a database somewhere

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Post by Jaime Lync »

Superman is also an orphan. Most Disney characters are missing a parent or are orphans. I think that Luffy from One Piece is an orphan - some manga fans might consider him a hero or at least a vigilante.

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Post by kandscreeley »

What about Annie? I'm sure there are more, but that's the first one that came to mind.

-- 05 Jun 2017, 09:06 --

Pollyanna! That was the other one I was thinking of.
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Post by AliceofX »

I always thought it came down to plot economics. Taking away parents often makes the plot simpler and leaner. Sort of why Disney movies have so few mothers. Say if Belle, Ariel or Jasmine had mothers. Either the plot would need additional complicated details, or else they would just be standing there. That's why I think orphans are so beloved by authors. They're uncomplicated and easily relatable.

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Post by katiesquilts »

AliceofX wrote:I always thought it came down to plot economics. Taking away parents often makes the plot simpler and leaner. Sort of why Disney movies have so few mothers. Say if Belle, Ariel or Jasmine had mothers. Either the plot would need additional complicated details, or else they would just be standing there. That's why I think orphans are so beloved by authors. They're uncomplicated and easily relatable.
I was thinking along these lines too... In a short movie, it's best to cut out what's really unnecessary. Sometimes that includes parents, apparently. Lol.

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Post by Miriam Molina »

That sounds so unfeeling but come to think of it, practical, as you (aliceofX and katiesquilts) explained. But orphans do tug at the heart.

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Post by Donnavila Marie01 »

kandscreeley wrote:What about Annie? I'm sure there are more, but that's the first one that came to mind.

-- 05 Jun 2017, 09:06 --

Pollyanna! That was the other one I was thinking of.
Amazing! One of the ingredients of becoming a good person or a hero is to be on your own. It pushes you to go further and attain something which the typical kids with parents can not do because they enjoy the comfort of their parents.
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Post by MrsCatInTheHat »

I think that readers like seeing orphans do well as we like to see people overcome major obstacles.
Life without a good book is something the CatInTheHat cannot imagine.

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