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We disscussed ideas about American values during the early 20th century and how the lose of the farmer and the frontier created uncertainty. The farmer/cowboy symbolized the brave adventurer as well as the sastainablity of values, because he is not a slave to money interests. He is the American dream, making his fortune with sweat and blood. This was a great oppotunity for incoming European immigrants to begin to displace Native Americans, instead of whites, as well as start a new life. Depression hit during the early 1900s and hard times fell on everyone. Heros were now the only source of inspiration. With the rise of Pulp Comics and heros that are larger than life, comes Superman and Batman. These heros were different and yet very similar to Americans, whice is why they became so loved. Superman is a larger than life character. He flies, is impervious to bullets, and comes from another place, much like the immigrants in the United States. He is a stranger and yet he makes it in this world. He was also raised in an urban evironment and makes his way to the city, like that is the people who are failing out in the frontier. His strength gives courage to those who are struggling.
Batman is another story all together. He is a rich, tortured individual who witnesses the murder of his parents and vows to fight evil. His powers are human inspired yet he uses technology to give him a leg up on his opponents. Bruce Wayne is a valued member of high-society and can be see as the Robin Hood of our day. He protects the poor by combating the evil that threats the city. He is "Jack Bauer". The guy that we hope is out there trying to save us all. He is a hero that is filled with emotions and flaws and imperfections/human qualities, that everyone is able to relate to.
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