Essay about Charles Bukowski: An Unlikely Hero

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Charles Bukowski was a renowned underground writer who explored the harsh reality of low class life in the latter half of the 20th century. His use of direct and vulgar language to explain the often violent and graphic situations he wrote about in his poems and stories lead many critics to view his work as shallow and purposely offensive, while others were fascinated by this “dirty realism”. (Cengage)
Bukowski had many heroic qualities, although not by demonstrating the classical abilities of a hero. He was brave for not whitewashing or watering down anything that he wrote, and he was humble by not explicitly writing about himself. Charles Bukowski was born in Andernach, Germany, on August 16th, 1920. He was fond of claiming he was
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It was during these years that Bukowski experienced the events that would provide much of the content for his veiled autobiographical stories that he would later write. (
The ten years that Bukowski spent as a drunkard exploring the underbelly of humanity took a toll on his faith in the morality of the world, and he reflected this in his writings, giving his tales a gritty and darkly realistic tone. This was the “heroic journey” that expanded Bukowski’s character, and it could be likened to a modern day heroic epic. Bukowski’s decision to write about these travels as a first person account of an alias named Henry Chinaski is a disguised attempt to remove himself from the stories, and allow the writing to focus on what he experienced, rather than that it was he who was experiencing it. (Cengage)
Bukowski underwent his final heroic task after he was diagnosed with leukemia in 1993, and was forced to realize his own mortality. ( His late writings focus on the unavoidability of death, and how it has followed him throughout life, only catching up with him at the end. He wrote up until his death, and his works continued to be published posthumously until 2007. His gravestone reads “Don’t Try”, this was a phrase he often used in his writings, and attributed it to being a key part of his creative process. This was his final jab at

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