Where does the need for heroes come from?

Monthly N° 354 – January 2023

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Whether he is the protagonist of small daily adventures, like T’Choupi, or a being endowed with supernatural powers, like Harry Potter, the figure of the hero has diversified over the ages, but remains essential.

A strong characteristic of children’s publishing, the recurring hero establishes one of its first specificities, namely the organization of books into series, cycles or collections, which are moreover often presented in publishers’ catalogs by the figure of their hero. Present from the origins of children’s books, series based on heroes today ensure an important part of the success of children’s books and therefore constitute a significant commercial issue, from early childhood to adolescence.

Why such a marker? As a first intention, hero series can be an important step in a reader’s journey, especially at the start of independent reading. They provide reassurance through the consistency of the characters and narrative structures. Spotted and assimilated by their repetition, the motifs, the style of the writing, the character of the heroes are so many milestones which shed light on the functioning of a text and subtract difficulties from its reading. The reader can therefore fully benefit from the pleasure of reading.

an emotional attachment

More profoundly, if we admit with Vincent Jouve (1) that the identification with a hero is a fundamental element of the constitution of the personality, this process […]

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Where does the need for heroes come from?