05 March 2012

The Unveiling of Superman

Late work, not enough money, and not attractable to the opposite sex? Super powers are what you need! Because it is humanly impossible to possess super powers, at least not what is believed to be a super power by popular belief, we must live vicariously through characters such as Superman. It can be said that Superman is the most recognizable super hero that has been created thus far. In fact Eco Umberto states in his article,"it is no accident that Superman is the most popular of the heroes...he.. represents the forerunner of the group (in 1938)." Superman has been such a success because of how easily relatable he is to nearly everybody. In the day as Clark Kent he is awkward and klutzy, but when justice calls he turns into Superman who cannot be stopped. Umberto brings to light what Superman is missing when he mentions the extent that Superman uses his powers. Not only is Superman only ever helping around his small community-Smallville, but he never seems to realize that his powers could help on a universal level. One reason this could be is that evil is always presented only as any harm to private property. With such petty crime why would Superman feel the need to stop crime elsewhere? Many people also may wonder why Superman does not have a significant other. Umberto states that Superman has a "homosexual nature." The explanation to this that Umberto gives in his article is that the goal of Superman's writers is to keep the stories of Superman from revealing that any actual time is passing by, so as to in turn keep Superman, for lack of a better word, alive. Were Superman to have any such encounters this would give the image of time passing. The story of Superman is only ever added to with new adventures and obstacles rather than elongated.

No matter how many or the intensity of the obstacles put in his way, Superman never dies. Even more amazing is that the audience never questions as to why Superman continues live on. Superman must be kept at an even medium between mortal and immortal. Were Superman to be susceptible to everything that we as mortal humans are he would lose much of his appeal. Superman cannot be immortal either though because than he would no longer be as relatable and he would still lose his appeal.
I think there comes a time when the re-telling of a story over and over throughout so many years becomes old news and something new must be invented.

2 comments:

  1. "Superman has been such a success because of how easily relatable he is to nearly everybody."

    This isn't really what Eco is saying.

    "Umberto states that Superman has a "homosexual nature." The explanation to this that Umberto gives in his article is that the goal of Superman's writers is to keep the stories of Superman from revealing that any actual time is passing by, so as to in turn keep Superman, for lack of a better word, alive."

    Or this. You need to read more closely, Charisse.

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    1. Oh! And how does this relate to another text?

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