Friday, August 16, 2013

The Anti-Hero.

We in the Modern day of the age like the Anti-Hero. The world has become a more cynical place then it used to be, and the Anti-Hero is become more popular for that reason. But truth be told, all generations have liked the antihero.  Captain Nemo and the ominous Count of Monte Cristo kept audiences entertained a long time before the tone of the age turned cynical. Audiences are thrilled by the Anti-Hero, they always were and they always have been.

Why is that? Because I think more than any other character the Anti-Hero shows the state of humanity. Humans are flawed and sinful creatures, but we're not without our virtues. Just like the Anti-Hero we try to do the right thing, but we slip up. We end up causing damage when all we wanted to do was create something good. We wanted justice. Or mercy. But we depended on ourselves rather than something bigger outside it. 

The Anti-Hero is always striving for something good, the Great Gatsby wants perfection, the Count of Monte Cristo and Inspector Javert both desire justice. They want what the heroes want, but the difference is by the methods they achieve it. The hero struggles, but in the end he always depends on something bigger than himself to bring about ultimate victory. The anti-hero is a cynic. He doesn't think there is anyone out there is going to bring about his Vision. He has to accomplish it through his own strength and his own power.

And here's a good place to point out the difference between the classical Anti-Heroes and the modern ones. In modern times we often glorify the anti-hero. We have forgotten God, we've forgotten the fact that goodness exists outside of us. So who do we turn to save us? We turn to the Anti-Hero. Because if goodness comes from within, then the Anti-Hero is right. We need to take goodness into our own hands. The Anti-Hero is the closest we get to God. Contrast this to Javert or Gatsby who end up destroying their lives through their basically cynical worldview.

"I did not come to pray to God, but inform Him I am taking his place" - Edmund Dantes 

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