Friday, April 8, 2011

Source Code Archetype Analysis

     In the movie thriller "Source Code" trailer, the protagonist is tasked with an extermely unique misson, where he has eight minutes on a train destined to blow up and he must must find the culprit. The first time he is on the train, he meets a woman who seems to know him but he hasn't seen her in his life. He goes to the washroom and looks at a different man in the mirror, an archetype that shows he is uncertain about his identity. He is actually Captain Stevens, a person working with the Source Code, a computer program designed to allow the user to experience the last eight minutes of another man's life. As he continues in his atttempt to find the criminal, you get the feeling that he is fighting fate. As he begins to get closer to the woman on the train, he begins to devise a plan to let her survive. Since these events already occured, the audience knows that the main character is going against the plan of fate, so he is going to struggle in his attempts to save her. This shows how he is considered an Unbalanced Hero, as he begins to feel emotions for the woman which will take him off his mission's objective. Due to these new found feelings, his identity will change and represent him, thus showing the juxtoposition from the beginning where he sees another man in the mirror to where he feels like he knows his goals in life.

     Originally, Captain Stevens archetypal journey was the journey in search of knowledge for the person who blew up the train. Through the use of the Source Code, Captain Stevens goal was to save the people in the future from harm, not anyone on the train. This changes over the course of the trailer, as he begins the serach for love by rescuing the woman in danger. Due to the fact that he knows she is about to die, this gives Stevens compassion for her situation. The woman shown in the trailer is a modern version of the damsel in distress, due to the woman being vulnerable in her lack of knowledge of the impending danger of the train being blown up. The lack of time that the two characters have to spend with each other gives them a bond that is very unique, as they must make the most of those few moments. This fuels Stevens plan to save her, in his hope that they can progress in a normal relationship.

     As the movie progresses, I would expect the Death and Rebirth situation archetype to occur, because of how Captain Stevens is continually going from the present to the past and back again. This is different from most Death and Rebirth Archtypes, as this gives the character a different relationship with the woman, as he can continually progress while she is stuck in that same eight minute interval unless he can save her. Another common character archetype that I would expect to see would be someone who would try to stop Captain Stevens from attaining his goal of saving the woman, as this will produce more of a climax once he ultimately succeeds or fails. Overall, I think that this trailer does a good job of attracting someone to go see it in a movie theatre and builds interest for someone to find out the way the story ends. 

This movie trailer makes us pause and question ourselves; what would we do if we knew the outcome of a situation and only had one chance to change it?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Harry Potter: Reasoning Behind His Popularity

I would think that most people have read a Harry Potter novel or seen a Harry Potter movie, in fact, I think that it would be considered odd if you haven't. Their can be many reasons for his popularity, some being how he looks and acts like an average "guy" even though he is a wizard with great power, as well as his quest for identity when his parents are killed after childbirth. J.K Rowling does a great job of displaying the struggle that Harry has had growing up, from living with his aunt and uncle who treat him like garbage to trying to contain the magic that lies within and not exposing himself to the "muggle world". The reader is able to easily relate to the realistic story in a completely different universe where magic exists and normal beings aren't aware of the it.

Another key skill that J.K Rowling possess' is her ability to maintain interest throughout a 800 page novel, as there are many other books that fall apart due to a really boring lead up to the climax. This is why millions of people have read all eight of her books, as they are enjoyable to read throughout. As  refered to before, all the Harry Potter books contain very realistic stories. A part of that realism is that as the reader grows older, so does Harry. Especially for readers such as myslef who are around the same age as him, Harry Potter progressively matures and experiences new things. This allows the reader to become captivated because of the chances of them experiencing the same things that Harry does, such as defending against bullies or uncompassionate family members.

J.K Rowling uses not just archetypes surrounding characters but also around places or events. As Harry is sent to Hogwarts, it acts as a modern boarding school, a common occurence in many older books. She uses this to establish a connection with the reader to other books he/she might have read and allows for easier understanding of the situation Harry Potter is in. Another common archetypes used is the family Harry lives with, as they lock him up in his room and treat him like a slave, not a human. Many main characters of other books have families that despise them, and so they wish to escape. As the antagonist, Lord Voldemort draws many comparisons to devil, a being very commonly recongnized as being pure evil. As an archetype, Voldemort stands as both the Devil Figure as well as the Creature of Nightmare, attempting to block Harry in his path to destroy all evil. Are their any other famous book series that have reasons behind their popularity related to archetypes?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

References to King Arthur in Modern Media

As famous beings who are widely reconized and known from the medieval ages, King Arthur is one of the most identifiable. Not only is he considered an extremely noble and courageous being, his knights of the round table are all also recognized as some of the best warriors in the earths history. Accordingly, modern media has referenced King Arthur and his knights multiple times, ranging from goofy and satirical movies such as "Monty Python and The Holy Grail" to more serious plays such as "Camelot". These forms of media have chosen to be centered around King Arthur due to the classic heroic archetypes of the Hero as a Warrior and the quest to save his people.

In comedies such as "Monty Python and The Holy Grail", Arthur is portrayed as a noble and educated being where everyone else in that universe is shown as either idiots or people who are making jokes alluding to history. For an example, when King Arthur and his group get to the bridge with the Crusader guarding it, they ask him if he would like to join their cause. He replies with "No", and will not let them cross. As King Arthur engages him in combat, he ends up cutting both of the crusaders arms off, but he will not relent. The crusader keeps hitting him with his torso, alluding to the relentlessness and determination of the crusaders back in the 12th century. Another example is when King Arthur is looking for help in his quest and goes to a castle owned by another lord. There are guards posted at the top of the gate, who pester Arthur relentlessly with stupid questions and answers, while not letting him within the castle. This guards are portrayed as idiots  to show the juxtiposition between Arthur and common folk.

In the more serious representations, Arthurs actions are reflected as his legend claims, with the power and knowledge of a great commander. The demonstration of Arthur and his knights skill in combat is widely acknowledged as being great within these plays and therefore he commands great attention when he is speaking, so he is a source of knowledge in the plays. A major difference in these plays are the roles that the various knights of the round table take, being a much larger presence within the main plot. King Arthur has more of an equal role when compared to the other knights and doesn't have as many scenes. This gives the audience a bit different feeing of the legend of King Arthur, as the knights are shown as having greater power. Are their any other historical figures such as King Arthur that are represented in modern media?