De Anza College
Little Hero Barbara
The definition of a hero is in a person who is admired or idealized for courage,
outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. I kill Giant tells the story of Barbara
against giants. Although this giant is only imaginary and has not endangered anyone's
life, she is still a hero.
Barbara is a brave girl, and she has extraordinary wisdom. In her fantasies, the
giant's coming brings pain and panic. "Swamp giants will clear out a whole village of
people, and replace them with dolls made of vines", "the sun will not shine upon it"
(Kelly, Ch. 2). So she is busy with laying out bait, setting traps, and wanting to stop
the giants. She was not only carrying a secret weapon that could kill the giant, but
she also set up "organs" by the sea and in the forest. She spread jam on the branches,
put the rest of the pasta on a shelf by the sea and tied a fishing net on the shelf.
Barbara buried her fishing nets in the sand, hiding the traps. She also drew a curse on
the abandoned carriage to curse the giant. Every day, she personally inspects and
maintains the "gates" of these organization's mysterious giants.
Barbara has noble qualities. She does not have a warm family. Her sister has a
busy job and also takes care of the housework. This makes Barbara's sister can not
take care of Barbara's thoughts and actions. Moreover, Barbara is also facing school
violence. Barbara said helplessly, "People hate me. I don't steal the money from
mommy and daddy. But the way they look at me. So cold. So cold…" (Kelly, Ch. 1).
To her, no one really understands her and care about her. However, she did not let the
giants come to destroy this place where there was no love for her. She still uses her
own ways to protect those who don't care about her. Barbara didn't turn her suffering
into hatred to hurt those who had hurt her.
Although Barbara did not make a huge achievement, she saved
herself. Barbara does not use superpowers to save humans like Superman, nor like
firefighters rescue trapped people from the fire. However, her victory in the fight
against the giants also gave her the courage to face her life bravely. In the past,
Barbara could not face the fact that her mother was about to die. She always saw the
giant on the second floor, but this giant was actually the embodiment of her fear. This
is because the second floor is home to her dying mother. Barbara thought that
defeating the giant would prevent her mother from dying. So she tried to set traps and
fight with giants. In the end, Barbara defeated the imaginary giant; at the same time,
she defeated the fear in her heart. When the giant sank to the bottom of the ocean, the
giant said, "All things that live, die. This is why you must find joy in the living, while
the time is yours, and not fear the end" (Kelly, Ch. 7). This sentence brought Barbara
back to reality and understood that the way to overcome fear is to face it. Just as
Barbara faced the giant bravely, she also faced her mother's departure bravely. Since
then, she has been reborn. Barbara spent the last time with her mother. And after
attending her mother's funeral, she faced the imaginary giant, smiling, with tears in
her eyes, and said, "We're alright ... I am alright. Thank you" (Kelly, Ch. 7). Barbara
rescued herself from fantasy and began a brave new life.
Barbara is not a hero in the traditional sense. However, she is still a hero who
bravely faces life, school violence, and family instability. She also has noble qualities.
Heroes should not be judged by rules and regulations, nor should they be limited to
saving others. Sometimes it is harder to save yourself than to save others like Barbara.
Kelly, Joe, and J. M. Ken. Niimura. I Kill Giants. Image Comics, 2014.
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