Individual Heroism

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  • Topic: Superman, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor
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2011

ISSN 1009-5039

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Viewing American Heroism from Superman Movies
WU Qiong
(China International Intellectech Corp., Beijing, 100022 China)

Abstract: Viewing the American heroism as an essential part for social development, this paper reveals how Superman movies explain the American heroism and how they impact the audiences. Among five Superman movies, Superman: The Movie is a remarkable terrific film with great story and acting. For the most important part, this movie introduces clearly about the American heroism. Superman movies reflect the idea of American heroism including mission and achievement of hero, goodness of soul, individualism, self-confidence, defender, strength, and courage. With the examples, the paper explores the American heroism in Superman movies and the influences of them on the audiences. Key words: superman; American heroism; movie; society : I0-05 :A :1009-5039(2011)08-0373-03

As an important form of mass media, movie not only is an approach of art presentation, but also reflects the society and the spirit of people. Meanwhile, this kind of media form also influences the human behavior and thinking. Among all topics talked about in these movies, heroism is a permanent and popular theme for both the audience and the producer. Superman is one of the most famous topics in the American film history. The heroic spirit of this American hero has influenced people for generations till now.

2 American Heroism
From heroic epics of Anglo-Saxon period and chivalries till now, the history of heroism is as long as the history of literature. No matter how different of the ways to present the heroism, four important elements existing in the heroism culture are concluded in this paper. They are: the theme of the justice victory; the enemy of strong but always lose in the end; the spirit of optimism and bravery; the plot of romance and complication. However, America is a "new world" and she has her own perspective of heroism besides the traditional heroism. European heroism culture had greatly influenced American culture. Compared with the European countries, the United States is a young immigrant country. And its culture is also young as the country. It has land expansion constantly, and the power of the country has risen quickly from the independence day of this country. " We choose our heroes from among those who exemplify the values that we, as Americans, uphold, which reflect our admiration for both dissenters and traditionalists, for those dedicated to helping others and those who act alone, for traditional role models and for innovators who break the common mold." Emerson, the 19th century's premier thinker on the subject, extracts several characteristics of the hero: sincerity, persistence, intuition, austerity, bravery and virtue. He then defines a hero as a person of extraordinary achievement, courage, and greatness of soul. Although modern American heroes have the various appearances and the different background, essentially, only one format for the "American hero" takes shape in our heart. The format is that the American heroes who held the belief as God's chosen few as themselves. The heroes portrayed in the culture whether the "Yankee" or the cowboy, the white people who explored the West or the American soldier who fought overseas all have the similarities: goodness of soul, individualism and absolute self confidence, achievements. Heroism goes deep into the Hollywood movies. In fact, Hollywood is a crucial part of American culture. Almost every year,

1 The Relation Between Movie and Society
Movie is one of the most powerful forms of mass media both in art and education. The filmmakers make use of the light to catch the shadow of the performers and the filmmakers also make use of their light of wisdom to catch the shadow of real life. 'Primitive cinema presents...
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