Superman; the mythic representation of cultural reality shifts in truth, justice and the American way

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The mythology of Superman is a paradigm that embodies the cultural reality of the era; constructed around an archetype of ideology, fantasies of human spiritual ambiguity, a religious messiah, and a semiotic representation of modernity. In further study, Superman can be identified to have specifically changed to adhere to American culture in three distinctive periods; midst the Great Depression and WWII, post WWII and finally the socially progressive change of the Vietnam period. In each chapter Superman was re-imagined to meet the definition of the period, a tool of propaganda over that of entertainment. Currently, America is entering a new phase of cultural shift, and thus Superman will be redefined to represent the ideologies of truth, justice, and the American way of that required era. Yet, the mere surface mythology of Superman has applications to cultural ideologies, questions of human freedom, dreams in a Freudian nature, and the complex relation of fantasy and reality which required introduction before in-depth research.
Superman's representation of cultural ideology is that of 'the ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas', the Marxist interpretation of material production and mental production (Karl Marx, 1932, pp. 7-8). Superman as title implies that he is "better" than just man; thus providing godlike qualities to a hero allows the edification of an icon that transcends above diversity. Subsequently, Superman embodies a civil religion of American ideals in which all can identity. Fostering qualities of a populist hero, Superman is a ideological symbol of the American ideology against the myth of aristocracy; the principle of moral quality being hereditary. Superman's identification with a lesser ...

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...ogy of the ruling class, a symbol of the American way; that everyone is born with the ability to be great, yet no one is above.

Works Cited

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Freud, S. (1973). The Dream Work. Harmondsworth: Pelican Books.
Kant, I. (1794). What is Enlightenment.
Karl Marx, a. F. (1932). The German Ideology. Moscow: Marx-Engels Institute.
Locke, J. (1995). Second Treatise of Civil Government (Vol. The Portable Enlightenment Reader). (I. Kramnick, Ed.) New York: Penguin.
Rousseau, J. J. (1995). The Social Contract (Vol. The Portable Enlightenment Reader). (I. Kramnick, Ed.) New York: Penguin.
Zizek, S. (2006). From Reality to the Real (Vol. Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A Reader). (J. Storeys, Ed.) Harlow: Pearson.

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