Nice guys finish last

MARISSA BLOCK, MANAGING EDITOR

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An ageist teenage boy crashes his best friend’s dad’s car and becomes one of the most likeable characters of the 1980s. Ferris Bueller encapsulates the antihero by being beloved, even with, or maybe because of, his flaws.

Antiheroes twist the word “heroism” into something less brave by stripping away the quintessential characteristics of a protagonist, leaving a character that is typically more interesting. Their unpredictability makes these characters more engaging.

These individuals often come from the same point of weakness that typical heroes do, but they never match the valor and strength of a Batman-like character.

While most fictional stories have a stark contrast between villain and hero, the antihero demonstrates that in the real world, there is a grey area. Moral flaws in the story create relatable subjects.

Many older movies based on true stories present the characters in the best light possible. But now filmmakers have begun recognizing that, even if a person is influential enough to have a movie based on his or her life, the person is still not all good. In The Social Network, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerburg is portrayed as greedy and arrogant, but he is still shown as an innovator. The realism of these movies is expanded through characters who have more dimensions.

Recently, many people have been blaming the media for the population’s negative body image. While heroes were created to become something to aspire to, they have become a root of insecurity, and not just in exterior image. Spiderman may not have been able to save his girlfriend from death, but his defeats of so many villains outweighs the importance of any of his faults. He is remembered for his victories. Typical heroes save lives on a daily basis, always get the girl, and become rich quick.

But this isn’t how we live our lives. An antihero is humanized instantly through greed or other negative traits, and we recognize ourselves in these characteristics. Although Tony Soprano, one of television’s first great antiheroes, was an obviously evil person, viewers still grew attached to this character who brought reality to television in a more honest way than any Kardashian.

Antiheroes range from a scale of funny to murderous, but there’s no set value that makes the most entertaining character. No matter how heavily the negative qualities of a character outweigh the noble characteristics, the antihero creates a more realistic, relatable character that has consequentially begun to take over modern media.

 

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