Marvel's The Avengers: Hegemonic Depictions of Heroism Present in the Working World

Maggie Kieffer Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Kristin Swenson Butler University
This rhetorical analysis of the 2012 film Marvel’s The Avengers engages in an ideological criticism to evaluate how the superhero genre is reflective of traditional American hegemonic ideologies about heroism and patriotism. Through a focused analysis of the superhero characters of Iron Man (Tony Stark) as an American military industrial complex contrasted with Captain America (Steve Rogers) as a symbol of traditional American values, I analyze how these conflicting heroic ideologies play off of one another to ultimately reinforce the traditional American heroism of the “Greatest Generation.” I also evaluate the role of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s SHIELD (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division) organization and its role in shifting the superhero film genre from individualist vigilante heroes to groups of individuals whose heroics are most effective under an over-arching organization. I then conclude by combing these two analyses to show how the film ultimately reaffirms hegemonic American heroism fulfilled by individualist heroes coming together under a traditionalist, patriotic leader in an organizational structure to combat threats to American values.
Competitive Paper--All Disciplines (includes an Oral Presentation)
Competitive Paper (includes an Oral Presentation)

When & Where

02:00 PM
Pharmacy & Health Sciences 150