03 March 2010

Hero or Zero?

The reading “The Myth of Superman” by Umberto Eco is about the literature and mythical aspects of Superman or other major characters. Heroes are known for their powers and super natural ability to play hero and human. However, not all heroes are mythical more than literal and vice versa. Peter Pan was simply a child who never grew up and goes off exploring the world, however when it comes to Peter Pan and Superman, they are somewhat different. Superman is both a literal and mythical person because he can be Clark Kent, a news reporter and loves Lois Lane. When Superman is Clark Kent, he has worries, fear, be intelligent, and has Lois Lane in his life. However when Clark is Superman, he has unlimited powers, no fear, and is indestructible. The double identity of Superman helps most readers to make a connection with Superman because readers want to have what Superman does. The difficulty of both literal and myth are hard to co-exist because myths are more recognizable. The fact that civilization of a regular novel offers a story in which it keeps the readers interest to build a certain suspense of what will happen rather than an event being told during the story and not the beginning. Mythical characters have a sense of morals, demand, and are usually the predictable ones and cannot surprise the audience. The literary explanation to the mythical explanation is the character of a novel wants, rather, then seeing what meets the eye to the readers. Eco’s purpose was to show that most mythical characters are original, always do the right thing, and making it necessary to move about in any way possible (this what Superman does) but since he in love, he has now been identified as a typical development of a novel character. Superman must have or face challenges in order to change because if he has nothing to challenge him then he does not change, remains the same until something different appears. Although Superman has weaknesses, there is nothing to do, but test him thru a series of unknown obstacles. Superman has to be more careful of his decisions because the more he does indescribable events the closer he is to death creating him to become more of a literal figure. Superman turns to a literal figure because myths don’t die, and if certain actions lead up to his death then he is no longer a mythical hero. The adventures of Superman do not have this vital intention to where it is most obvious to the readers, just as the authors would too. Superman comes off a myth to the reader because they lose control of relationships and renounces the need of reason.

I thought the reading was very interesting because it picks Superman apart basically to find flaws in which makes him either a literal or mythical super hero to me. I think the ideas or statements that Eco’s makes are similar to what most people would think if they took the time to understand what they are actually reading. I believed that Superman was the greatest super hero of all time, but now after reading this essay, I guess, made me think about my judgment. Many other super heroes have powers and weaknesses, but they can’t compare to Superman because he floats in the middle of being mythical or literal. I thought the reading was going to be long and very boring, but after taking the time to read what I did not understand makes thinking about comics and super heroes a lot less painful. The idea of how Superman could die if he involves himself to certain situations makes me wonder if all Superhero’s could turn out the same way. Superman was made out to be a great legend in which we well talk about for a long period of time, however many well be disappointed when events changes, creating people to not care anymore. I think when this does happen nobody well truly understand unless they know the difference between mythical and literal.


  1. This is an excellent post, Rayna, and I'm glad you enjoyed it :-)

  2. this post was really good, i see that maybe you made more since of this the me haha. but i like how you go in to good detailin the summary. good job =]