Deconstructing a Dangerous Mind
White, male and unafraid of darkness… this has been the type of hero commonly presented to audiences since the time of heroes began. Has it changed? Jerome Kaino explores… Modern day films present us with an array of different hero who don’t fulfil the stereotypical view of a hero. Margery Hourihan, writer of the article, Deconstructing the Hero positions us to view heroes as male, white and unafraid of darkness. This view is however out of date. In John Smith’s Dangerous Minds we are presented with a different type of hero who doesn’t fit all the criteria set by Margery Hourihan. Margery Hourihan's definition of a hero is very stereotypical. Her view of a hero is young, white, male, dominant, symbolic of the elite and unafraid of darkness. She also comments that the hero is a man of action who expresses his nature through skill, courage, dominance and determination. This view is very out dated. Heroes in present day cinema do not usually display these attributes. We are seeing more and more heroes that are old, black, female, not symbolic of the elite and afraid of darkness. These heroes are more realistic and are becoming a common occurrence in present day film. The film Dangerous Minds is a very good example of this evolution of the hero in cinema. The main character of the story is middle aged, white, female, not dominant and quite afraid of darkness. Although she later on displays more of a stereotypical image she still never quite fully fulfils Hourihan's definition. Dangerous Minds is the story of LouAnne Johnson (Michelle Pfeiffer), a former United States Marine, and her dream of becoming a teacher. She is employed by an inner-city public school and begins teaching a class of misfits, gangsters and Latinos. The film guides us through her struggle to educate these teens and set them on the path of graduation, effectively “saving them from their lives”. The setting in film plays a major role in showing who the...
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