A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich Literary Qualities

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takes a realistic look at life in the inner city. An all-too-human Benjie confronts a situation that defeats him throughout most of the book. Society's usual answers to the problems of poverty, racism, alienation, and drug dependency fail him. Childress challenges the term "hero" itself. The suggestion by Benjie and his social worker that a hero is a movie idol or sports figure is rejected in favor of Butler's insistence that he is the true hero: an ordinary human being who each day does what he must do to endure and survive.

The realistic novel usually offers little optimism for a happy outcome. In A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich, the ending is indeterminate, making Childress's point that many human problems lack easy answers. Characters in realistic novels typically display a fair share of weaknesses as well as strengths. Their experiences are presented in the...

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This section contains 437 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich Short Guide
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A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.