the modern day superhero

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The essay display the many characteristic of a classical detective genre with a mash up of superhero traits.


Alarcon 5

Zelma AlarconProfessor HarrisonWriting 39BAugust 15th, 2014

The Modern Day SuperheroA hero can be anyone (Dark Knight Rises)A hero is often defined as someone whose story [captures] essential truths about human nature (Rosenburg). This of course helps countless others with the struggles of daily life and helps aspire noble heroic acts; they are models for [society], and they modeled after [society] (Rosenburg). Conan Doyle created that very same role model that arose from all the drastic changes during the Victorian era. The world during Doyles time was changing drastically because of the emerging technology that was sped by the industrial revolution. Innovations such as electric lights and telephones began to change Britain, but it also affected their education specially those who were middle and lower class (Panek 76). When Doyle created Sherlock Holmes he set the mark for a detective story because it presented difficulties of life, but along with the transformation of technology and education the detective genre gradually changed as well (Panek 80). As the classic detective genre changed people during Doyles time began to accept that whenever a crime occurs, the police [would] be involve, and in the stories both the powerful and the humble would seek Holmes and Watson to air their problems before them (Panek 75). Yet with time Doyles stories and the detective genre began to change and the notion of police versus the amateur, the detectives conceit is a still sometimes used in modern day society. The reader can witness the great alterations made from Doyles stories to those of modern time such as Sherlock Holmes films (directed by Guy Ritchie) and Sherlock the television show (written by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss). The films are filled with action packed drama that integrate Doyles classic stories and provide a new twist to the plot. While the films are action based the television show Sherlock is quite different. Though it does contain some action it is mostly drama based and more intuitive for the viewer. A great drastic change was made from the original Holmes, but the two newest versions are adaptable to modern day life. The first example for the modern day hero is the Sherlock Holmes Film. A superhero is often characterized by the powers they have obtained or their abilities that set them aside from the rest of society. Though most do have super powers that help them save the world from chaos many do not have super powers unfortunately , but despite this set back they often have enhanced knowledge, training, willpower, gadgets, and a side kick even (Vtroperville). A particular scene that stands out in the movie Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows directed by Guy Ritchie it demonstrates Sherlocks heroic acts and numerous conventions of the detective genre. In this scene Dr. Watson is recently wed to his wife, Mary, and they plan to go to Brighton for their honeymoon. Just when they think that their new life will be nothing, but bliss something unfortunate happens. The couple is attacked on the train by Professor James Moriartys goons, but no later does Holmes appear to their rescue and sends off Mary to a safe place with his brother Mycroft. Now that Watson is Holmes sidekick it is time to rescue the world from chaos created by Moriarty (Roger 1). To retrace the particular sections of this scene the viewer can constantly see the conventions of a superhero and the detective genre. By the angle of the camera the viewer is limited to seeing a the main character, but not only that it is the angle of framing as described in in the Yale website titled as Film analysis Guide. By the angle of framing the viewer sees Watson and his wife enter their compartment and in the background there is Sherlock Holmes in disguise, foreshadowing that something will occur and it creates a relationship between Watson and the protagonist. Once Moriartys goons start attacking Watson begins to enter into frenzy because he was unaware of his situation, but luckily Holmes power of deduction and analysis comes in handy. Before any of the action had commenced Holmes had planned everything out to the last detail. Holmes powers let him play out every scene and how it will happen and then what he will do. In this case he intelligently put a lip stick that would cease the firing of the goons and help them escape from train. Like mentioned above Sherlock doesnt have super radioactive powers that happened unexpectedly, he has enhanced his knowledge and fitness to be equipped for his daily missions. In other words he is a strong man that can be considered a psychic (Vtroperville). Just like how Holmes had played out the whole scenario in his mind the events took place in the matter he had predicted them and was able to escape with Watson to save the world from destruction, Moriarty. Unlike the movie the television drama, Sherlock, is quite different based on the amount of action it contains. The drama is based on intuition and deductive reasoning; Sherlock is not the fit muscle man that was presented in the film nor did he use his powers of deduction to analyze his opponent to bring them to justice. In Sherlock: A Study in Pink, Watson is introduced as a wounded and traumatized soldier scarred by the war. Watson is with his psychiatrist when he is asked to write of a blog about what happens in his life, thats when the story begins. Sequences of murders are displayed at the beginning and the audience is found in a conference room with the police answering the murder questions from the news reporters. Yet here we notice the link between Doyles classic conventions of a detective where the police seem to be useless to the case and that is where Sherlock Holmes comes to the rescue. Of course before any action takes place the viewer is presented with the introduction of Watson and Holmes in a lab (just like in Doyles stories they are introduced by an acquaintance). Just like the classic story line Holmes analyzes and deduces Watson which then confuses Watson as to how Sherlock knew so much about him. Sherlock Then explains on how he knew everything about Watson and continues to further analyze and deduce him; Sherlock agrees to have Watson as a companion. Not long after Watson settles into Baker Street and is introduced to a new case, A Study in Pink. In the taxi Sherlock further boosts on his deduction by analyzing Watsons cell phone which in the classic stories it was Watsons brothers watch. Arriving at the crime scene the police demand that Holmes do not touch anything in the crime scene; yet Sherlock demands that nothing be moved for him to actually deduce what has occurred during the crime. On the second floor the viewer sees Holmes in action with a dead body of a woman in pink; he then announces his obvious statements to Watson and the police and ignores what they have to say as if they are completely clueless. The police are left dumbfounded by Holmes revelations and then the key phrase comes into action when the police mention that there is no suit case at the crime scene; Holmes sees this as a major mistake made by the killer and he is soon on the hunt. Filled with incredible amount of revelations and adrenaline Watson and Holmes chase a cab that Holmes believes to have the killer inside, but no later does the case become clear to Holmes that it was a taxicab driver that killed all those innocent people, he was an old dying man; The driver would give his victims options as to what bottle of pills they should take and wager their life if they were poisonous or not. Of course the case is solved, but when Holmes is put to the test Watson kills the murderer and Holmes is left with the unknown knowledge of whether he had chosen the right set of pills. In this particular episode the viewer also sees the introduction of Holmess brother, Mycroft, who is the representation of the British government. Like Doyles stories there are many similarities between the new and the old Holmes, yet it is adapted to its current time. This television show is in present day Britain where technology and knowledge were more advanced than that of Doyles time. Yet the major difference between two is the amount of action that takes places; in this episode we see Holmes running after the killer and jumping on top of buildings to catch his culprit. Holmes use his powers of deduction to time the street lights and route to catch up with the cap, which displays heroic actions of a super hero.

Works Cited:Batman. "The Dark Knight Rises : Quotes."The Dark Knight Rises (2012)., Inc., 1990. Web. 15 Aug. 2014.Ebert, Roger. "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Movie Review."All Content. N.p., 14 Dec. 2011. Web. 02 Aug. 2014.Film Studies Program. "Film Analysis Guide -- Plain HTML Version."Film Analysis Guide -- Plain HTML Version. Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, 27 Aug. 2002. Web. 01 Aug. 2014.Panek, Leroy. An Introduction to the Detective Story. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green StateUniversity Popular Press, 1987. Print.Rosenberg, Robin S. "What Is a Superhero?"Psychology Today: Health, Help, Happiness + Find a Therapist. Robin S. Rosenberg, Ph.D., 11 Mar. 2010. Web. 15 Aug. 2014.