Captain America the First Avenger, Small Men Can Do
In this film of an American superhero, a man by the name of Steve Rogers, who is an ordinary man just trying to enlist in the army like many men his age. He has one problem though, he has too many medical conditions and is rejected from the army over and over again. Then a scientist overhears Rogers’ conversation with his best friend about him attempting to enlist over and over again. Then as Rogers goes to enlist again the scientist is the one who greets him in the medical room and allows Rogers to be enrolled in the army.
This beginning of the film symbolizes how most Americans want to be like as a person, that person that will never quit until they get what they want, that person that will not stop until their goal is achieved. Another thing in the opening of the film is how he just wants to be like everybody else in that if other men are laying their lives on the line for their country, then he should too. This is the same as any American man who has no job yet has been trying over and over again, through rejection, and has finally landed a job.
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Steve Rogers (or Captain America), is the symbol of what one American man should strive to be like because of his good character, his will to do good, and his true patriotism. The main character Steve Rogers is a very small and skinny young man. In the beginning of the film, he goes to see a movie at the local theatre, when the advertisements before the film are on for young men to enlist in the army, a man is repeatedly disrespecting the army yelling for them to just start the cartoon already. Baffled by this, Rogers then confronts this man in the theatre by telling him to “shut up”.
Then the scene changes to an alley where Rogers is being beat up by this same man that he confronted. The thing about this scene is how Rogers takes punch after punch and keeps getting back up. This shows that he will fight for his beliefs no matter what the consequences are, it shows his will, and his heart that he has inside of him to do good. I truly do like how in the beginning they start the film off with Rogers just being a lesser than ordinary person, a person that is frowned upon in society due to his size and strength, but they show how his characteristics and strength of mind can overcome just about any problem.
This makes people relate to his character more than not seeing as though most people feel like there is always someone bigger and better at things than they are. The character of Rogers gives people a reason to want to do better for themselves and others around them. He is a symbol for good things to happen to good people. Right from the get go of the film he is portrayed as a nice guy who just can’t get a break, but then he gets his break when he meets the scientist and he is made into a soldier, and then a super soldier.
He gets what he wants, but he gets even more than he wants. This reminds me of people in today’s society, people like Tim Tebow, people who are doubted their entire lives, but the thing about that doubt, is that is what fuels them and drives them to reach out and get to the goal that they are striving for. I find a lot of the same character in Tebow as I do in Rogers, they are both the person that is doubted upon their abilities, yet because of this they have big hearts, they are both kind and courteous, and will fight just to prove their critics wrong. It’s not the size of the dog in the fight. It’s the size of the fight in the dog”, Mark Twain. He is the poster child of what a true patriot looks like. He wears the flag on his back, on his sleeve, and even on his shield. If anyone is a true patriot he is. This is what Captain America stands for, not only is he a truly goodhearted man with a sense to only do good, but a man that represents America as a whole, or a poster child if you will.
Back home I played football my freshmen through senior years of high school, I was one of the smallest guys on the team, 5 foot 8, weighing in at 135 lbs. soaking wet. I played anywhere they needed me, offense, defense, special teams, even defensive line when needed, I took a beating every down, every game. What kept me going was that drive of excellence, the same one Captain America has, fight for the man next to you, prove your critics wrong. Just because you’re small doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference.
My coach called me his poster child at the end of the season, meaning I was the example for people to stop saying that they are too small to make a difference, too small to play football, or in Captain America’s case, too small to be an affective soldier. I bled blood for green and white, just as Captain America spills his blood for red, white, and blue. Captain America is a symbol of the American dream. It is not exactly the American dream that everyone thinks of, cars, money, house in the suburbs with a white picket fence, but instead it’s the American dream for Steve Rogers.
It’s his own personal American dream, which is to serve, represent, and most of all, fight for his country against its entire evil enemy. Steve Rogers isn’t living his American dream right off of the get go in this film, he is instead portrayed as an less than ordinary man with which society looks down upon. He is in pursuit of his dream, going to any recruitment center that he can just looking for that slim chance of opportunity to be accepted. When he finally gets his chance he doesn’t miss a beat, doesn’t back down from a fight, and never changes who he is at heart.
Even once the procedure is over with and he is a “superhuman”, his dream is not yet fulfilled. He is given the title Captain America and is sent to sell bonds to the American people. This isn’t exactly his American dream quite obviously. So when he is sent overseas to help fire the troops up and hears of his best friend Bucky being captured behind enemy lines, he goes right to the colonel and asks for permission to go behind enemy lines to go after any survivors, he is denied and told to stay with his circus act and sell bonds.
After this confrontation with the colonel he takes matters into his own hands and goes behind enemy lines to fulfill his dream of serving his country on the front lines. He comes back to the camp with the remainder of the survivors proving to the colonel that he is worthy of leading the country not only in the sale of bail bonds, but in the phase of war. The difference between Steve Rogers’ and most Americans that are out there trying to achieve their American dream in the land of opportunity is that determination that Steve Rogers has.
A quote that I feel describes this is from Dr. Lou Holtz, the former Notre Dame Fighting Irish head football coach, “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. ” This quote says a lot, if you have the ability, the motivation, and the right attitude; you can do anything that you set your mind to, just as Steve Rogers sets his mind on saving the lives of others and fighting off evil enemies.
All in all Steve Rogers truly is what we portray as America. He is the one man that can represent American ideals such as freedom, and justice. He is the man that represents the little guy. The most important thing that he represents is American ideals and politics. He is the picture perfect American that many of us strive to be. Captain America is truly taking in the concept of being all that you can be to a whole new level, are you?
Anne Egros. What Can We Learn About American Culture From Captain America? ”. WordPress. com. Zest and Zen International. July 27, 2011. Web April 22, 2012. Lou Holtz. “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. ” Mark Twain. “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog. ” Kirk Honeycutt. “Captain America: The First Avenger: Film Review. ” Hollywoodreporter. com. The Hollywood Reporter. July 20, 2011. Web April 22, 2012.