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Antiheroes Are Becoming More Popular Than Heroes

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    Modern Anta-Heroes In modern media violence Is worshiped and the hero Is not always a law babbling citizen. The anti-hero Is becoming Increasingly popular. Many anti-heroes are criminals. Writers have the ability to have their audience fall In love and care about an anti-hero. Looking up to these anti-heroes might have some devastating affects on society. Violent media, particularly movies, could very well have an affect on the number of violent crimes being committed in the world.

    It may cause younger audience members to idealize the people in the media they consume, which could lead to the creation of the crimes they saw, or a new interpretation of them. Some people are easily influenced. By studying anti-heroes popular in the media, we can compare the crime rates then to now, and hopefully find a growing trend In both. There have always been thieves, murderers, and other criminals, but with certain media worshiping these people, you can only expect more people to become criminals.

    In many anti-hero movies the crimes committed In the film are shown In such a way that makes them look justified. This is one of the main reasons I think it might e easy for someone to be involved with crime after being saturated by it in the movies. The media very well might be teaching people how to justify their own criminal behavior. I know that not everyone that watches violent movies, or likes anti- hero stories is a criminal, but some people who are in a tight spot, or have been debating about robbing that gas station to pay the rent, might find Just the push they need in modern media.

    Stories about anti-heroes have been told for ages, and are becoming increasingly popular In modern media, especially modern films. The term anti-hero Includes any rotating with characteristics that would conflict with traditional heroes. An example would be the popular Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. He protects his friends, and he is portrayed to be a protagonist in the films. However, he is a thief, and he manipulates his people into getting whatever he happens to be after. Another example would be Ben Wade from 3:10 to Yum.

    A killer, a thief, and a leader of an outlawed gang, he is portrayed as the antagonist though the majority of the film, but in the end he sympathizes with his captor and tries to help him omelet the Journey to get him to the train to take him to prison. The effort how ever ends with the gang catching up the captor and killing him. Wade then kills his men for this act, and willingly turns himself in. This paper examines the criminal behaviors of anti-heroes In modern media and how the popularity of these characters may lead to actual criminal behavior of certain fans.

    Lets start with the non-violent characteristics that some anti-heroes have. What do Jack Sparrow, Danny Ocean, and Robin Hood have In common? Well, first of all, They are all thieves that most viewers love. If viewers did not condone the actions of these characters, then their overall popularity would not be as high as it is today. The legend of Robin Hood has been around for ages, and he is famous for stealing from King Richard, and providing for the poor of the community. Whether you are watching the 1973 film by Disney or the version starring Russell Crower, Robin Hood’s motives are the same.

    He provides for the less fortunate. He takes care of the people he feels he needs to look out for, and we support him as viewers. Now think off parent, who needs to provide for their family. They are poor and make Just enough money to barely stay alive. They have unexpected bills one month and need extra money Just to put food on the table. If they decide to steal from a big business owner in order to feed their family, would you condone their actions the same way you do Robin Hood? Crimes such as this are slightly more likely to be committed by men. To be “the man” of the family means to protect and provide for them.

    Individuals seek alternative symbolic identifiers to establish their genders when traditional avenues of “doing” masculinity are blocked. Connell (1995) explains that changes in the workforce, the family, the economy and the political division of power has led to a crises in masculinity, in the United States, which increasingly threatens many men’s sense of what it means to be a man. In the precarious climate, some men may turn to crime as means to accomplish masculinity. “When other masculine resources are unavailable, particular types of crimes can provide alternative resources for accomplishing gender. Misdirected 1993. P. 84). This means of gender accomplishment, criminality, seems, appropriate for males cause, “crime is associated with power (Misdirected. 1986. P. 44)”, and power, whether legitimate or not, is tied to definitions of what it means to be a man. This quote from page five of Crime in Movies by Sarah Schools and Jan Buskin, explains that how certain men will turn to crime to help provide for their families or even Just to prove their masculinity. They might think that they are Justified because of stories like Robin Hood.

    When people condone certain actions by characters in media, then naturally they will find ways to Justify their own actions. What about Jack Sparrow and Danny Ocean? Why are they popular? Their ethics are slightly lacking. They steal for personal gain. The reason they are popular is simple. We like them. They are funny characters with Just enough off heart for us to feel fond of them. This creates the illusion that if we display criminal behavior in real life, then it is okay, provided we are likeable or funny. Thievery seems petty when compared to more violent crimes. First lets take a look at vigilante Justice.

    Most people love it when Batman pummels the bad guy and futures him, or when any of your classic super heroes capture the bad guy. The popular HOBO series Dexter, features the serial killer Dexter Morgan who feeds his urges by only killing criminals who have killed and have the potential to kill again. He kills by this special code and viewers love to watch his twisted rituals because the people he kills “deserve to die”. It is easy to make Justifications for some characters such as superheroes and even Dexter, and to ignore the fact that vigilantes are also People get used to this Justification.

    Watching violence on television or in the ivies “can increase the relative accessibility of aggressive thoughts”(Anderson 8). Combine Justification with more aggressive thoughts and you end up with people who are more likely to commit violent crimes. Now combine all that has been covered so far and combine it with a person who may be living below the poverty level. Logically you would end up with someone who might Justify thievery, have increased thoughts towards aggression, and has the motive to commit crimes. They might commit crimes to provide for their family, or improve their socioeconomic status.

    More research would have to be done in order to confirm these potential trends, but the possibility is very high. A survey of inmates at prisons could be done for additional research. Questions should be indirect Prisoners should be divided between violent and non-violent crimes and preconceived crimes and crimes committed based on instinct. Also, they should be asked some of the movies and television shows they watched as children as well as after they became adults. This type of survey would provide us with the information to evaluate Just how much criminal anti-heroes have on convicted Iranians.

    Obviously not everyone that watches this type of media turns into a criminal, but people with motives might Just need that extra push to confirm that their actions are just. The basic idea is that the combination of these particular types of media combined with the right type of people is a potentially dangerous mixture. After looking at the facts, the blame for criminal behavior cannot be placed squarely on the shoulders of modern media. In the end, it is regular people committing these crimes; the blame can only be put on those who commit the actual crimes.

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