Elise Chen, Division 1, 4th grade #ws18e-s1d1

Superheroes have the most glamorous job in the world. They fight crime, battle super-villains, and save the world. However, being a superhero is merely a fantasy for me. The person I would like to be is Moana, who saves the world without any supernatural powers. To me, Moana is a great friend, an excellent leader, and an inspiration to all.

When the sixteen-year-old teenager first meets the demigod Maui, she realizes that they can’t be more different. He is arrogant and selfish while Moana is humble and selfless. At first, Maui looks down on Moana because of her age, but gradually, she earns his respect. She discovers that under his arrogant disguise, insecurity grows deep within Maui. Moana helps Maui open up by being a good listener. He shares his tragic story where he is saved by the gods after his parents abandoned him. The gods give him a magic hook which Maui believes is the only reason he is a hero. Moana is sympathetic and reassures Maui that he is a hero because of the things he has done. With her encouragement, he finally becomes the confident man he once was. Being understanding and supportive, Moana is able to forge a real friendship between the unusual duo.

Moreover, Moana is brave and smart which makes her a great leader. She has the courage to challenge traditions. Chief Tui has a rigorous rule for the villagers not to go beyond the safety of the reef. This rule has been strictly followed for decades. When Moana realizes her island is dying, she voices her concern to her father. However, he doesn’t listen, so she breaks the rules and ventures out into the sea in a desperate attempt to save her people. During the journey, she almost gives up several times but finds strength in herself and perseveres. In the end, she helps the villagers overcome their fear with open water and leads them to a more prosperous future.

Furthermore, Moana is an inspiration to all, especially to young girls. In facing down the lava demon Te-Ka, Moana displays as much bravery as any superhero battling a super-villain. When she realizes that Te-Ka is actually the goddess, Moana reaches out to her with empathy rather than with force. She makes an emotional plea to Te-Ka. As a result, the goddess is able to bring back balance to the world. Moana proves that words are more powerful than swords and that an independent young woman is just as capable of saving the world as anyone else. Moana teaches us to face our weaknesses, believe in ourselves and follow our dreams.

Not everyone can be a superhero, but everyone can choose to be like Moana. Moana is a great friend, an excellent leader and, most importantly, a role model to everyone. She demonstrates that masculinity does not equal strength. Girls can also be great leaders and do great things like any man, too. Compassionate and independent, Moana is who I would like to be.
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