Applying to the Ordinary World

To make sure its understandable for the rest of the class (and of course myself!) I used examples from the book and through my own research.

Heroes Lack

For Heroes Lack I used the example in the book; Ordinary People(1980).

Taken from IMDB (January 2016): “The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.”

Ordinary World (1980) Trailer

Text from book:
“The young hero Conrad is unable to eat his mothers french toast for him. It signifies, in symbolic language,his inability to accept being loved… because of the guilt he bears over the accidental death of his brother.”

“At the end of the story. Conrad’s girlfriend offers to make him breakfast…his appetite for life has returned”

Looking at the film, its clear the character, Conrad has went through a fairy tale format with the cliche happily ever after ending. Its a good example of the Hero lack and the progression of the main character.

Tragic Flaws

For Tragic Flaws they gave an example of Superman and Kryptonite however it isn’t the most appropriate comparison. I thought of Thor through his pride and arrogance he puts himself  on earth and greater trouble. Then thinking of Iron Man, Tony Starks ego causes himself to be kidnapped a terrorist group and it isn’t until he reaches rock bottom that his morals/values change and he becomes Iron Man.

Another example is Hamlet which I was able to find on a website explaining tragic heroes (Unfortunately i wasn’t able to see the whole article so this is all I could see) However knowing the story of Hamlet, you how his tragic flaws leads to destruction and a bloodbath. For the presentation it would be worth while noting Hamlet.

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Source Accessed Jan 2016

Wounded Heroes

For Wounded Heroes there were two examples in the book,they both are good example so I didn’t feel the need to research further for examples:

Lethal Weapon (1987)

From IMDB Accessed January 2016: “A veteran cop, Murtaugh, is partnered with a young suicidal cop, Riggs. Both having one thing in common; hating working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one another to stop a gang of drug smugglers.”

Lethal Weapon (1987) Trailer 

From book: “Mel Gibson is sympathetic because he has lost a loved one. The wound makes him edgy, suicidal, unpredictable and interesting.”

Learning from this section we know that flaws make interesting characters, Mel Gibson’s striking character may be one of the many reasons why Lethal Weapon was turned in a series of films.

Red River (1948)

From IMDB Accessed January 2016:“Dunson leads a cattle drive, the culmination of over 14 years of work, to its destination in Missouri. But his tyrannical behavior along the way causes a mutiny, led by his adopted son.”

From book:“Dunson makes a terrible moral error as a cattleman by choosing to value and his mission more than his love and following his head rather than his heart. This choice leads to the death of his lover, and for the rest of the story he bears the psychical scars of that wound. His suppressed guilt makes him more harsh…almost brings him and his adopted son to destruction.”

Out of the two examples; Red River seems more like an appropriate icon of the wounded hero. Dunson’s scars cause choas and almost destruction in his family, his characters is much more compelling to watch.

Establishing what’s at Stake

For this section, again there was an example in the book which was Clash of the Titans (1981);

From IMDB Accessed January 2016:“A film adaption of the myth of Perseus and his quest to battle both Medusa and the Kraken monster to save the Princess Andromeda.”

Clash of the Titans (1981) Trailer

From book: “Purseus must undergo many ordeals or his beloved Princess Andromeda will be devoured by a sea monster”

I could look into more for example Beauty and the Beast where Belle must put herself in a dangerous situation or her father will die. However Clash of Titans for me sums up establishing what’s at stake. The film has high enough stakes that interests the audience and provides as a good example. (I’ve noticed most fantasy films have dramatic stakes due to the vast imagination of creators)

Backstory & Exposition

There wasn’t an example for his in the book so I had to do bit of digging to find some. I found a website which gave a few examples of the use of backstory and exposition. These examples include Star Wars; with an introduction which gives blunt exposition and is considered iconic.

Empire Strikes Back Opening Credits (Accessed Jan 2016)

However Star Wars seems like an example everyone is going to use so I choose for a different example. Thinking of Harry the Narrator type characters my mind went to Morgan Freeman and one of his most famous films; Shawshank Redemption (1994) This example coincidentally was in this website I found previously which reassured myself that  I thought of a good example!

From IMDB Accessed January 2016: “Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.”

Shawshank Redemption (1994) Trailer

Just from the trailer we see backstory and exposition revealed through Morgan Freeman’s character, Red who plays the ‘Harry the Narrator’ character. Thought the same website there were points made which i didn’t think of before.

From Source (Accessed Jan 2016): “In The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Red (Morgan Freeman) describes how he sees Andy (Tim Robbins) – a technique that allows for a better scrutiny of Andy’s persona. If Andy were talking about himself, the narration would come out as awkward and maybe self-important. But Red offers a third-person view that matches what the audience sees. Also, since Red had been in prison longer, he can share knowledge about life behind bars and predict what Andy is going through”

This example I think is really good not only for establishing the narrator characters but showing how the wisdom of that character reveals important exposition and backstory for  Andy to escape the prison.


Theme also didn’t have an example but through research I found an essay which applies theme to the film Hot Fuzz (2007)

From PDF: “Angel’s inability to “switch off” is mentioned several times over the course of the film, by Janine, Angel and Danny. This dedication to his career (which could also be construed as an obsession) is what keeps Angel from being able to build steady relationships with other people, both within the work environment and his social life.”

The essay makes the point that the film bases it’s theme upon relationship with references to his failed romantic relationship with Janine. This theme of relationships continues with Nick Frost’s character Danny who goes with Angel on his journey to establish a normal steady life with stable relationships.

With the examples, I now have some applied knowledge for the presentation!




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