Questioning Heroism in Andy Weir’s the Martian

Elisabeth Ngestirosa Endang Woro Kasih, Fajar Dani Julian Tama


The concept of heroism has long been a recurring theme in literature, evolving within American novels to reflect the ever-changing societal values and dynamics. While American novels tend to focus on delineating heroism for multiple characters, the portrayal often feels forced and less authentic in the literary works showcased. This qualitative research aims to explore the evolving portrayal of heroism in contemporary American literature, employing Andy Weir's acclaimed novel, The Martian, as the primary data source. The study meticulously analyzes the depiction of heroism in the story and evaluates its alignment with Joseph Campbell's renowned three-stage theory of the hero's journey. Through the presentation of empowering narratives, the research seeks to encourage readers to recognize heroism in its diverse and multifaceted forms, thereby fostering empathy, understanding, and unity among individuals from varied backgrounds. Ultimately, the findings of the study indicate that heroism in The Martian may not have been presented in the appropriate context, suggesting a potential divergence from conventional portrayals of hero figures. This research opens up intriguing discussions about the portrayal of heroism in modern literature and its implications on our understanding of the human spirit and heroic ideals.

Full Text:



Åse, C., & Wendt, M. 2018. Gendering the new hero narratives: Military death in Denmark and Sweden. Cooperation and Conflict, 53(1), 23-41.

Beardow, T. 2018. The Empire Hero. Studies in Popular Culture, 41(1), 66-93.

Bowman, J. 2007. Heroism, modernism, and the utopian impulse. The New Atlantis, 17, 70-78.

Campbell, J. 1972. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. New Jersey: Princeton UP.

Cawelti, J. 2014. Adventure, Mystery, and Romance, Formula Stories as Art and Popular Culture. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Carroll, John. 2001. The Western Dreaming. New York: HarperCollins.

Dubois, Lydia. 2019. Superheroes and “the American way”: Popular culture, national identity, and American notions of heroism and leadership. A Thesis, University of Richmond.

Gilman, William H. 1967. The Hero and the Heroic in American Literature: An Essay in Definition. Patterns of Commitment in American Literature, edited by Marston LaFrance, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1-18.

Hermes, Joke. 2005. Re-Reading Popular Culture. Malden: Blackwell Publishing.

Julius, & Satria, R. 2022. Analysis of Hero’s Journey in Jack London’s "The Call of The Wild". ELS Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities, 5(4), 613-618.

Kasih, E.N.E.W. 2018. Formulating Western fiction in Garrett Touch of Texas. Arab Word English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies, 2(2), 142-155.

Kasih, E.N. & Strid, J.E. 2020. Reconstructing the border: Social integration in Reyna Grande’s The Distance Between Us. International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change, 14(9), 702-715.

Morgan, S. 2019. Heroes in the Age of Celebrity: Lafayette, Kossuth, and John Bright in 19th-Century America. Historical Social Research/Historische Sozialforschung. Supplement, 32, 165-185.

Nurdiana, Nurdiana & Evyanto, Winda. 2019. The hero journey of Alice in “Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland” By Lewis Carrol: Archetypal approach. Scientia Journal, 1(2), 1-10.

Palfy, C. 2016. Anti-hero worship: The emergence of the “Byronic hero” archetype in the Nineteenth Century. Indiana Theory Review, 32(1-2), 161-198.

Quinn, Edward. 2023. A Dictionary of Literary and Thematic Terms, Second Edition. New York: Fact on File.

Shahan, S. 2021. The service of Samwise: Heroism, imagination, and restoration. Mallorn: The Journal of the Tolkien Society, 62, 17-25.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 Elisabeth Ngestirosa Endang Woro Kasih

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Teknosastik: Jurnal Bahasa dan Sastra
: Universitas Teknokrat Indonesia
Address: Zainal Abidin Pagaralam Street 9-11, Bandar Lampung, Indonesia

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License