Gianluigi Monniello : constructions of the hero in adolescence

The author uses two significant definitions of the hero by L. Ariosto and B. Fioretti to describe first, the natural need to construct, in imagination, the figure of the hero as a possible contribution to adolescent psychical functioning and as an adequate imaginary reference point for creating oneself and one’s own ars vivendi. Then, in order to highlight how the encounter with the adolescent also implies that there is something in him that goes beyond the natural process of construction inherent to development and hero-playing in childhood, the author describes three possible co-existing forces that can lead to heroism, with very different results, and which are available to adolescents. The first impulse, which is reactive, is the impulse to continue bravely seeking and recovering the values of the past ; the second impulse, which is positive and differentiating, encourages the adolescent to detach himself from the worlds that produced him and from their internal and external influences ; the third, which is creative, is the one that makes him faithful to his original sensory experiences by pushing him, unconsciously, to « do what he can ».
Adolescence, 2013, T. 31, n°2, pp. 327-344.