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The Anti-Hero: An Evolutionary Process

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Savannah Sickler

on 3 February 2014

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Transcript of The Anti-Hero: An Evolutionary Process

The Anti-Hero
The Villain
The Hero
What is a hero?
a protagonist who works for the greater
Courageous- faces danger for the sake of society
Selfless- serves others before himself, sacrifices himself for the greater good
Virtuous- uncompromisingly devoted to life-promoting values
Just- embodies characteristics that his society values
Extraordinary- possesses an idealized skill
Hopeful- holds a positive outlook on humanity and society
Conform- believes in society and its values;
Life Purpose- carry out a goal or calling; if he dies, its with purpose
Classical- a noble person who goes on an impossible mission to benefit other people in some way; from ancient Greece
Tragic- a more realistic person who goes on a daring quest that dies just after they complete it; often represent the fears of the audience; from Aristotle in ancient Greece
Romantic- a character that rejects established norms and conventions, has been rejected by society, and has the self as the center of his or her own existence
Byronic- rebellious main character who has a troubled past and indulges in self-destructive behaviors that threaten to doom him; from Byron

Who is a hero?
Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling's
Harry Potter
Beowulf (poem "Beowulf")
Jay Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel
The Great Gatsby
George (John Steinbeck's novel
Of Mice and Men
Orphaned at a young age, Harry ultimately undertakes the quest to save the wizarding world from Lord Voldemort. With his great wizarding skill, bravery and cunning Harry embarks on a journey filled with perilous adventures and encounters to fulfill his quest.
Beowulf possesses super-human strength and cunning. He ultimately defeats Grendel, his mother and a dragon to ensure his people’s safety.
Born poor, Jay Gatsby overcomes his circumstances to enjoy great wealth. He pursues his dream of true love, yet is unsuccessful in obtaining Daisy’s heart.
George holds a life purpose to care for Lenny. He sacrifices his life for the sake of Lenny's being, and he always sets Lenny's needs before his own. He understands and accetps his duty wholewheartedly and even remains hopeful for humanity and society.
What about the anti-hero...? What does the hero have to do with the anti-hero?
The hero developed into an additional aspect of literary characters. Characteristics of the hero were adapted as society progressed, creating the anti-hero.
Courageous -> Cowardly
Selfless -> Selfish
Virtuous -> Tainted
Just -> Critical
Extraordinary -> Flawed
Hopeful -> Cynical
Conform -> Alienated
Life Purpose -> No Life Purpose
Understanding the hero is, therefore, necessary to understanding the anti-hero.
The anti-hero almost always dies. Often times, though, the character of the anti-hero remains alive. The anti-hero, however, dies metaphorically, typically evolving into a hero by the end of the prose.
Similar to the hero's importance to the anti-hero's essence, the villain also influenced the development of the anti-hero. Although the comparison of the villain to the anti-hero is a bit of a stretch, the evil persona of the villain leaked to the character of the anti-hero. Understanding the villain is, therefore, necessary to understanding the anti-hero.
Specialized Types of Heroes
What is a villain?
an antagonist with no morals
always trying to go against the hero
his victim is innocent
try to kill innocent people
attempt to gain control of the people as their supreme leader
arise in spite of the hero
ultimate life goal is to destroy the hero
never transform into a hero
Who is a villain?
Voldemort (J. K. Rowling's
Harry Potter
Joker (film
Cruella deVille (Disney movie
101 Dalmatians
He despises the non magic people that are slowly overtaking his world of magic. In his journey to do so he finds a prophecy that a young child will lead to his demise. He goes on to kill the child’s family and attempts to kill the child but fails in doing so. The child grows up and later kills Voldemort and saves a lot of people.He despises the non magic people that are slowly overtaking his world of magic. In his journey to do so he finds a prophecy that a young child will lead to his demise. He goes on to kill the child’s family and attempts to kill the child but fails in doing so. The child grows up and later kills Voldemort and saves a lot of people.
His goal is to disrupt society, to show how corrupt people really are. He believes that it you give someone the chance to take a life and they will do so. He tries to accentuate all of the flaws in society, whowing that everyone has a plan and no matter how wrong something is, as long as it follows the plan no one cares. If it goes against the plan, everyone loses their mind.
She had an obsession with making everything into clothing and especially liked animal pelts. She planned on using all of the Dalmatians to make some new clothes. She managed to kidnap the puppies and almost got away with killing and skinning all of them, but luckily they were rescued before it could happen.
What is an anti-hero?
a protagonist with the opposite characteristics of a hero
Cowardly- has a very low self esteem; oscillates between narcissism and self-consciousness
Selfish- focuses on himself and rarely thinks of others
Tainted- defies authority and revels in it; surrenders himself to life-destroying values
Critical- judges and criticizes everyone, including and especially himself
Flawed- stems on his own incompetence
Cynical- holds a very negative outlook on humanity and society but does nothing to change it
Alienated- does not fit into society but isotes himself further; non-conformist
No Life Purpose- leads no calling or goal in life;if he dies, he dies tragically and without a purpose
often associated with themes of necrophilia, angst, vindictiveness, desperation, and the dominance of evil or corruption
will always hold the sympathy of the reader since the reader understands his motivations for why he is the way he is
Who is an anti-hero?
Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain's novel
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Holden Caulfield (J.D. Salinger's novel
The Catcher in the Rye
Heathcliff (Emily Bronte's novel
Wuthering Heights
Huck isn't accepted by society and doesn't even want to be. Huck finds civilized life intolerable, but instead prefers to live the life of a free spirit. He has no set destination in mind, no life purpose. Furthermore, Huck is a liar, exemplifying courrupt qualities.
Holden epitomizes the literary anti-hero. He is cynical towards life and humanity, and he is critical upon society and himself. He has no life purpose, and he lives a life of corrupted indulgences.
Heathcliff is a loner, but he also becomes obsessive over Catherine. He is a tortured soul, drawing the reader's sympathy. He is dark, brooding, and slightly demonic.
Who else is an anti-hero?
Shrek (Disney movie
Severus Snape (J.K. Rowling's
Harry Potter
Dexter Morgan (television show
Beetlejuice (film
Jack Sparrow (film
Pirates of the Caribbean
Who else is an anti-hero?
Shrek (Disney movie
Severus Snape (J.K. Rowling's
Harry Potter
Jack Sparrow (film
Pirates of the Caribbean
Beetlejuice (film
Dexter Morgan (television show
The Anti-Hero: An Evolutionary Process
So what...?
The role and concept of the anti-hero is to have a personality that is juxtaposed to the hero’s yet also pleasing to the reader. Anti-heroes are much more conflicted, might not always take the ‘right’ path as the hero would and is meant to appeal to readers because they want to find out more about this tragic anti-hero. Another aspect to the popularity of the anti-hero is that their flaws make them more relatable to the reader rather than a hero. Humans are flawed and cannot relate to a hero depicted as being perfect. However, an anti-hero may have flaws similar to the audience that can be related to. They make for a much darker, complex version of a hero and protagonist in literature.
Matthew Grant
Savannah Sickler
William Wallace
Modern Literature Period 3
Monday 3 February 2014
Rebel Without a Cause
Rebel Without a Cause,
Jim Stark (James Dean) is not the average movie hero. He is introduced as a drunk teenager who struggles with emotional drama from his parent's relationship. Because of his past trouble, his family is constantly forced to move causing him to not care about school or friends. This not caring, hardened attitude actually attracts the kids at school and he begins to befriend a loner named Plato. Jim's character is far from being the protagonist who has everything figured out. His parents argue a lot and this causes him to show an emotional side that most strong heroes don't show. Jim is known for getting into trouble and this causes distrust between his and his parents and police. When Jim, Plato, and Judy are attacked by a gang of boys, Plato kills one in self defense. He runs away and is chased by the police, Jim, and Judy. Jim tries to be the hero and talk Plato into listening to the police but things go wrong and Plato is shot by the police. Plato was unarmed yet he was shot dead. Although Jim tried, he was not able to save Plato and be the hero. Even if the rebel tried to turn into a hero, he would never be able to change over night. Jim's experience in this film may have been his first step into heroism and one day he could be a rebellious hero. This brings up the question can a rebel be a hero? A rebel sure can try to be a hero but in this movie, he can not succeed. Jim Stark, however, epitomizes the character of the anti-hero in this film
Rebel Without a Cause
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