Essay On Antiheroes

831 Words4 Pages
Antiheroes: neither villains nor supermen but the tragic heroes of daily life. Discussing the deptiction of the ‘male American antihero’ within the framework of this thesis in the cases of Lester Burnham, Frank Wheeler, and Brandon Sullivan refers to white men from (upper) middle class leading a drab, emotionally unfulfilling life in the US – in New York City and suburbs in Connecticut, to be exact. First of all, one needs to clarify what exactly makes and antihero and what distinguishes him from other (stock) characters. To begin with, the Compact Oxford English Dictionary for Students defines ‘antihero’ as “a central character in a story, film, or play who lacks typical heroic qualities” (Soanes 36). Therefore, it becomes relevant also to list the dictionary definition of the words…show more content…
In any case, the antihero undergoes a journey which is often a rollercoaster of incidents and emotions. The term “the hero’s journey” or also “the adventure of the hero” has been coined by Joseph Campbell, who suggests in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces a pattern of steps each hero/heroine passes on his/her quest towards a better life. This pattern of journey primarily addresses mythical heroic figures and shall illustrate “how the heroic self seeks an exacting spiritual countenance, that is, a higher way of holding and conducting oneself” and how “[t]his heroic way offers depth of insight and meaning” (100). One can, however, detect certain similarities between this pattern and the journeys of the American Beauty’s, Revolutionary Road’s, and Shame’s antiheroes. Therfore, Christopher Vogler’s adapted, less complex journey model serves as an element of reference when outlining Lester’s, Frank’s, and Brandon’s journeys. The following figure illustrates in a clockwise order the particular steps of the
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