How is John a tragic hero and why did he have to die?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Well, John certainly isn't a tragic hero in the Shakespearean sense of the word: Shakespeare's tragic heroes accomplish victory and glory before the story starts and their tragic descent is chronicled thereafter. John's story is tragic because it is so sad. John starts in humble beginnings, is an outcast, and never really finds success or peace or happiness. Like a good hero, he does fight for what he believes in the end when he throws the mind-numbing drugs out the window. He does his impulsive best to tell the people that life as they know it isn't true happiness, but he is unsuccessful. Where dystopias and social unrestĀ are presented, it seems as if someone should die for what they believe in; even if it is simply to seal their belief with their own blood to validate it. Usually, people who die for their beliefs are called martyrs and they tug at the heartstrings of those who hear of them.