Mutants And Mystics: A Literary Analysis

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What would happen if the average Joe got a hold of immense power? What first comes to mind is the superhero genre, where most often, the ordinary protagonist uses their newfound abilities to overcome tragedy and evil, paving themselves a path of redemption and heroism. According to philosopher Jeffery Kripal, “it was . . . Superman that gave the superhero comics its archetypal form.” Indeed, we see Superman’s moral righteousness in many classical superheroes, from our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man, to the brooding Dark Knight. However, these characters are as real as fiction can be. When considering this question in reality, we can glean that not all individuals are innately good, and even if they had the potential to be, it is not always …show more content…
. . out of which we can, conceivably at least, awaken and “step out of the screen.”’ That is, we are characters in a narrative written by some paranormal entity. However, individuals can realize the “uncanny experience that one is being written” , a process called Realization, and “take a more active role in this . . . process ([called] Authorization).”9 Andrew’s psychological awakening, from his role as the cameraman to the subject of his narrative mirrors Kirpal’s mythemes of Realization and Authorization. With immense power under his command, Andrew realizes that he no longer needs to hide behind the barrier of his camera lens. Andrew can rewrite his story, and play the main lead instead. However, Andrew does not write himself as an honourable hero who gains the respect of his community through good-natured deeds. Rather, Andrew uses his powers as a weapon to express his harboured contempt for society. He engages in mischief by antagonizing everyday strangers, demonstrating the gratification Andrew receives by becoming the bully. His dominance is further asserted when his father and the neighbourhood tormentors plead mercy at his strength. However, Andrew’s abilities dangerously inflate his arrogance. Trank argues that with great power comes great responsibility, a …show more content…
However, this conception of the superhero myth is stereotyped towards the great stories we read in comic books, where heroes are inspirations and the pillar of hope for society. Yet the narratives dominating the superhero genre is by no means realistic, considering the flaws that underlie human nature. In Trank’s Chronicle, we are presented with a depressed teenager who could not be loved by society. Rather than use his bestowed powers to gain acceptance, Andrew had turned himself into the antagonizing supervillain, who gained comfort in the fear he instilled. The poor circumstances in which Andrew is forced to live through laid the basis for his anger, and through his abilities, he had enacted his ill-will against all who challenged him. Yet is this the only story that can be written? If we are given unimaginable power, will we follow the same immoral path? Trank presents one deconstruction of the superhero myth by creating a supervillain from a disturbed teen. However, there is no doubt that multiple variations of the generic stiry exist, and they may be waiting for us to narrate

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