The Gangster as Tragic Hero vs. Halloween

analytical Essay
1100 words
1100 words

On a cold Halloween night in 1963, in the film Halloween, a six-year-old boy named Michael Myers was seen stabbing his older sister to death with a gigantic kitchen knife then leaving to stand outside the house with a blank expression on his face. As a result he was sent to Smith Grove’s Mental Hospital which he escapes from 15 years later to go after 17 year old Laurie Strode and her friends Lynda and Annie. Warshow’s essay, The Gangster as Tragic Hero, depicts American society’s need to show public cheerfulness and maintain a positive morale as well as its desire for something more sinister, something more brutal. This desire to indulge in the forbidden fruit of sadism and cruelty is what makes the gangster persona so appealing to the nation. He is the man of the city. He emerges from the crowd as a successful outlaw and his only aspiration is success through brutality. Like a gangster, Michael Myers’ main focus throughout the film is brutality; “The practice of brutality – the quality of unmixed criminality – becomes the totality of his career” (3). This brutality is clearly illustrated in the scene where Bob is assailed by Michael Myers. After Bob finished sleeping with Lynda, he headed downstairs to fetch the beers Lynda requested. As he did so he heard a strange noise coming from the door. Curious, he made his way over to the door to find that there was nothing there. Figuring it was just Lynda messing with him, he opens up the cabin doors and calls Lynda an “asshole”. Failing to find Lynda, he decided to check another but little did he know that Myers happened to be hiding amongst those doors. The moment he opened them, Myers flew through the door and caught him by the throat. Bob attempted to struggle but failed to overpower him. As he drew his final breathes, Myers stabs him through the chest and watches the light slowly fade from his eyes. Myers

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how warshow's essay, the gangster as tragic hero, depicts american society’s need to show public cheerfulness and maintain a positive morale as well as its desire for something more sinister.
  • Analyzes how michael myers, like a gangster, is merciless in his attack. he had no intention to kill him humanely.
  • Analyzes how myers' brutality sets him apart from the crowd in that it goes above and beyond what an average person would be willing to do to another as far as physical harm.
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