Dirty.Harry type movies
Early super heroes like superman and batman
Rorschach in watchmen
Are examples of the American Monomyth
Which has a big impact on our culture and especially certain loner individual who create great havoc in a bold attempt for a cause or just to be noticed.
In the American monomyth, the hero is an outsider who comes into a once-perfect community in peril (the “violated Eden”) to confront the evils that have caused trouble. The hero eschews such things as joining the community, standing apart from them in order to better keep them safe, in a manner that could best be described as vigilantism. Once the evil has been vanquished, the hero either allows himself to absorb into the community (through such means as moving in, marrying, etc.), or he moves on to the next violated Eden.
The major points
Before people lived in an Paradise
Then an Evil From Outsife came
Ordinary Institutions can not handle the Evil
An Outsider uses Vigilante tactics to save the people, disregading the Law
Or in Emergencies, drastic measures must be taken because regular lawful measures do not work
(Sound like anything in the News?)
The authors John Lawrence and Robert Jewett seek to understand the relationship between what they call the “American Monomyth” and the society in a modern context.
The idea driving this exploration is the belief that the mythical stories reveal tensions, desires. and anxieties about American democracy in the modern day.
The American Monomyth is a 1977 book by Robert Jewett and John Shelton Lawrence arguing for the existence and cultural importance of an 'American Monomyth, a variation on the classical monomyth as proposed by Joseph Campbell.
Campbell’s monomyth describes a hero’s journey: a hero ventures from the normal world into a supernatural one, winning a decisive victory there and returning with a ‘boon’. In contrast, Jewett and Lawrence define the American monomyth as
“A community in a harmonious
paradise is threatened by evil; normal institutions fail to contend with this threat; a selfless superhero emerges to renounce temptations and carry out the redemptive task; aided by fate, his decisive victory restores the community to its paradisiacal condition; the superhero then recedes into obscurity.”
In their 2002 book The Myth of the American Superhero (with Lawrence as first author) and their 2003 book Captain America And The Crusade Against Evil: The Dilemma Of Zealous Nationalism (with Jewett as first author), the authors extend the thesis by using examples from both American popular culture and the American religious tradition.
The American Monomyth posits a level of cultural belief in American society that helps to explain the desire in American government to “save” the world.
The Myth of the American Superhero is a scholarly nonfiction book by Robert Jewett and John Shelton Lawrence.
It describes the idealized, fantasy violence so distinctive for American pop culture. The authors show that the American heroic ideal, conveyed in formula stories of "the American monomyth, is explicitly anti-democratic and contagious.
Crusading loners, attracted by guns, bombs, and the call to destroy evil, act out the premises of the myth with tragic consequences. This book shows how Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski have the courage of the mythic convictions ritually enacted by celebrity stars such as John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and Steven Seagal.
The book, published in July 2002, explores the relationship between our entertainments of the past century and national commitment to the ideals of democracy. Stories about superheroes - from the vigilante ideal launched by The Virginian novel a hundred years ago to the latest Spider-Man film or Touched by an Angel TV episode - express despair
about self-managed government and the hope for redemption by powerful individuals who rise above law and institutions.
The Myth of the American Superhero discusses novels, films, videogames and the behavior of national leaders inspired by this monomyth.
THE MYTH OF THE
John Shelton Lawrence and Robert Jewett
Partial Table of Comtents
The Birth of a National Monomyth
The Myth of Eden in the American Imagination
The Intruding Evil Other
discusses the novel The Virginian
The Axial Decade of Development
1929 to 1938 Lone Ranger to Superman
The Shape of the Heroic New Paradigmn
Buffalo Bill: Fake History and Celebrities
Blending History and Myth
Teddy Roosevelt and Manifest Destiny
John Wayne and Friends Redeem the Village
Shootist’s The Disciple with a Gun
Death Wish as “Regeneration Through Violence”
Bernard Goetz as Old West Disciple
Urban School Cleaning with Joe Clark
The President as Hero
Air Force One
The Crusade against Government in the Rambo Films
‘The Unforgiven’ as a Redeemer
The Unabomber’s Crusade for the Freedom Club
Fueling the Myth with Ammonium Nitrate Oklahoma City
The Sound of One Hand Killing:
Monomythic Video Games
The Columbine Questions
Star Trek’s American Mission in The Original Series
Star Trek’s Antimythic Bias and Its Own Mythic Ingredients
Who Mourns for Adonais?
Kirk as the Serpent with The Apple in the Garden
The Significance of Dress Up and Play Cosplay
Religious Aspirations of George Lucas
Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader as Monomythic Heroes
Fascism, Star Wars’ spiritual Cousin
Star Wars Fascism and Pop Religion
Disaster Politics in Armageddon and Left Behind
Preventing the End Times in Armageddon
The End Times for All Politics in Left Behind
Superheroic Bullet Time in The Matrix