留学生assignment:：A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF THE HEROISM IN THE PRISON BREAK 浅析《越狱》中的英雄主义
Abstract (in English) ii
1. Introduction 1
1.1 The Background of American Heroism 1
1.2 The Creating Background of the Prison Break 2
1.3 Introduction to the Prison Break 2
1.3.1 The Theme 2
1.3.2 The Plot 2
2. Analysis of the Main Characters 3
2.1 Michael Scofield 3
2.2 Fernando Sucre 3
2.3 Brad Bellick 4
3. The Heroism in the Prison Break 4
3.1 What Is Heroism 4
3.2 The Heroism in the Plots of the Prison Break 4#p#分页标题#e#
4. Reasons for the Rise of the Heroism Film and Television in America 6
4.1 The People’s Spirit of Americans 6
4.2 The Influence of the World War II and the Anti-terrorist War on Americans 6
5. Conclusion 7
As English learners, especially as English major undergraduates, all that we need to learn is more than the textbooks and linguistic skills, but the cultures in the English speaking countries. As the steps of modernization, the TV productions have been an important part of the national culture undoubtedly. What’s more, the TV productions are more acceptable and will have a more vivid impression on the audiences. Nowadays, just like Hollywood pictures communicating the value of Americans, the American televisions are enjoying great reputations among overseas audiences. This passage gives a brief introduction about the American heroism, and then analyses the heroism in its plots. The author put forward his own points mainly through the explanations of the main characters and plots. Besides, the author share his own opinions about why a lot of heroism TV productions come out in the latest few years.
Key words: heroism, prison, America, TV production
1.1 The Background of the American Heroism
Comparing to the European countries, the heroism of America is as young as the country itself. As an immigrant country, the clue of old continental heroism can be easily found. While, since the day the young country was founded, it had been busy enlarging its territory, and its power boosted rapidly. The heroes it charactered, from the “Yankee” to the cowboy, from the white immigrants who moved to the west to the soldiers around the world, they had one thing in common: individualism, aggression, and completely confidence.
Throughout American history we would find the fact that strong feeling of heroism was not accidental occurred. As we all know, the United States was a nation of immigrants, fortune in the New World Period , its founding father insisted separate the land from the British Colony to build a new country, letting the spirit of pioneer to acme , this indomitable fighting spirit, the burning blood desire for freedom and independence, and fighting in this long and winding process of history played a decisive role in making these people into the minds of the American people like the ancient Greek hero Odysseus as the prototype. #p#分页标题#e#
Each person who entered the American continent had one dream, heroes were no exception, precisely because the heroes were the most capable people to realize their dreams, these great heroes have become the spiritual symbol of ordinary people, the spokesperson for the American Dream. The times changed, so changed the images of the heroes. From the pioneering frontier cowboy image that represented the ultimate in Westerns, to the subsequent Superman and tough guy image, everyone came to a big popularity. Time went by, when people were finally tired of the super heroes’ images, some clever Hollywood directors would become sacred shape the removal of the civilian heroes, they fade stunning ring is not out of reach
civilian super-hero ability but a little more human glory, a little more reality, flesh and blood, joy, anger, sadness original hero also, there are ups and bitterness, which makes heroes more approachable and more warm and lovely. Civilian heroes pushed the Hollywood films to the peak in return.
1.2 The Creating Background of the Prison Break
In the latest few years, the United States has been playing the role of “World Police” in the international affairs, and promoting the so called American “democracy” “liberty” “justice” and “fairness” with its mighty politics. After the “9.11”, the Americans have been overwhelmed by the feeling of crisis. On one hand, people doubted the policies carried out by the American government strongly; on the other hand, they lost their trust in president Bush. At that very moment, the Prison Break made its debut, which implied the sarcasm to the American “democracy”. It has a heavy political background, and behind the interests was the personal conspiracy, party conspiracy, and state conspiracy. These secret groups take charge of the heads of the government: leaders of the involving departments, judges, governor, and even the commander in chief. As a result, the Prison Break enjoyed a great popularity among the audience as soon as it hit the screen.
1.3 Introduction to the Prison Break
1.3.1 The Theme
This television, known as an amazing product with “the experience of the Oscar winner: The Shawshank Redemption, the structure of the 24, and the ideology of the Sex and City”, includes the elements of crime, corruption, prison, ethics, love, and family.
1.3.2 The Plot
The television is mainly set in the background of prison, narrates the story of the Fox River 8, and focus on the Michael brothers. Michael, the hero, an young and smart structural engineer. In order to rescue his older brother Lincoln, who was set up, from being executed, he got into the Fox River after careful planning and arrangement, and made it at last.
While, for the sake of taking advantage, 6 another convicts broke out with the Michael brothers. And dramatically, all of them knew the secret of $5 million in Utah at the moment of escaping from the prison; therefore, 6 among the 8 met again in #p#分页标题#e#
Utah finally. During their way on the run, they were faced with the hunting of the federal government and the Fox River, and even for the Michael brothers, were also chased by the interest group headed by the vice president.
They dug out the money in Utah, and it just was swallowed by Bagwell only, although he didn’t got the chance to enjoy it for the two guards Bellick and Gary in the Fox River knew about the money too. So the rest people had to continue their way: Sucre kept looking for the chance to be together with his girlfriend; Franklin got a reunion with his family; as for the Michael brothers, they didn’t get the so called “presidential pardon”, and leaving for Panama. Although Sara failed to get on board the ship with Michael, Michael had connections with her all the time.
Later in Panama, the story was set in the Sona prison, Michael got rearrested for covering Sara’s crime. Other inmates includes the federal agent Alex, Bellick, and Bagwell. Unfortunately, the killer Gretchen threatened Michael with Sara and L.J to break Whistler out of Sona. Undoubtedly, genius Michael succeeded again. Misleaded by the fake death of Sara, Michael was determined to take revenge. From then on, Michael came into a battle against the “company”, the goal is the “Scylla” which is chased by many people.
2. Analysis of the Main Characters
2.1 Michael Scofield
Actually, the education background of Michael made people confused about the crime he committed. A structural engineer who had a considerable income, with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees of construction. Before being put into jail, he worked for famous company in Chicago, but his brother’s arrest ruined his life. The reason why he would risk his life to help his brother might as follows: the tight bonds between the two brothers, and his trust in Lincoln’s innocence. They had been through one and the other conspiracy after they broke out. Maybe, from the moment Michael came to a local bank with his guns, his life was destined to change completely.
2.2 Fernando Sucre
Fernando was born in Chicago, and his childhood was spent on the street. He didn’t violate the law until he robbed a store with a gun which was not loaded,
because he need the money to buy his girlfriend with whom he had dated 3 years a ring. Fernando was sent to the Fox River, where he acted very well, and all he wanted to do was to gain the chance to be paroled out to marry his girl. And it was also because of his girlfriend that he decided to join in his roommate Michael’s breaking plan. Although the police was coming after him since he came out, he still remembered his girlfriend. Fortunately, the story had a happy ending, and they could spend the rest of their lives with each other.
2.3 Brad Bellick
Brad worked as a prison guard since he was a 18-year-old boy, and he lived with his mother rather than built up a family of his own. Therefore, he had got too used to this kind of life to accept the fact that he was fired by the Fox River, and he almost put an end to his own life with his shot gun. But a piece of reward news for the most wanted Fox River 8 stopped him from committing suicide. Later, he heard the $5 million. Then dramatically, he even became Michael’s comrade-in-arms, and sacrificed for others at last.#p#分页标题#e#
3. The Heroism in the Prison Break
3.1 What Is Heroism
According to the dictionary, the heroism means the brave, tough, and self-sacrificial spirit or actions played out by someone who is willing to accomplish a task with significant meaning.
In the early time of American history, the characteristics of American heroism referred to the pioneer spirit and the bone to keep fighting against the colonists. However, to some degree, it has changed a little bit, for the American people have already built a democratic country of their own. Therefore, nowadays American heroism means the individualism, aggressiveness, and definite self-confidence.
As per this standard, a lot of American movies and televisions in the latest few years can be classified as heroism products, such as the Air Force One, the Rambo, the Spider Man, the Iron Man, the Terminator, the Prison Break, the 24, and so on.
3.2 The Heroism in the Plots of Prison Break
Generally speaking, the whole story was about Michael’s wisdom and ideas, so
he was the only one who made the difference. Since it was obvious after the story was finished, such as saving Lincoln, the set-ups on the run, and the battle against the “company”. In spite of others’ help, Michael was the best military adviser. And to some degree, he saved everyone involved.
To begin with the tattoo, Michael put his big plan into practice to help his brother, after a long time arrangements. Like mentioned above, Michael led a cozy life before, and he had no reason to abandon his life even for his own brother. What’s more, not everyone could survive in the Fox River, where Michael came across a lot of difficulties at the beginning, including losing a toe. He could be called hero just for this brave spirit.
Another reason why Michael broke his brother out was he believed that Lincoln was a victim, and he was trapped. The interest group faked Terrence’s death, and accused Lincoln of murdering. Only if Lincoln was dead, their secret would not be uncovered. At this very moment, Michael stood out, and became the most competitive rival. Later, the Michael brothers was safe, despite of the interest group had the back of government, and the federal agent Alex. As for the vice president who became the president, she stepped down as a result of being found guilty. There was no doubt that Michael was the winner, though they had to left for Panama.
Heroes are heroes, when facing the “company”, Michael stood out again, and this time he saved more than lives, even a country, however. “Scylla”, a removable hard drive, which was priceless because of the scientific secrets in it and everyone wanted to possess it. And the people among everyone included Michael’s mother, who would choose the “Scylla” rather than her son. Luckily, the group of people which were under Michael’s lead took down the “company” finally, and handed over the “Scylla” to an official from the United Nation. Naturally, the general ended up in prison, and the group was free, including the Michael Brothers.#p#分页标题#e#
Although the others’ brave actions might fade when it came to Michael’s, it was a matter of fact that there were other heroes on the whole. Fernando was always there for Michael, and Bellick gave out his own life for everyone’s sake. They had proved themselves by actions not words.
Maybe Fernando was no more than Michael’s assistant, because he just did as Michael told him to cover Michael’s plan. While, without Fernando, Michael could haven’t accomplished anything. From Fox River to Sona, then in the fight against the “company”, Fernando helped Michael a lot and did all he could without complaining.
Michael was considered to be brave for what he did, while Fernando was considered to be great for what he was always doing.
As for Bellick, to be honest, he could hardly have something to do with hero at the beginning but a serious, brutal police. While not everything was as it seemed, and people’s attitude towards him should make a 180 degrees’ turn from the second Bellick jumped into the water pipe. He made his choice when anyone else had no idea about what to do. Since then, his greatness moved everyone.
4. Reasons for the Rise of Heroism Movies and Televisions in America
4.1 The people’s Spirit of Americans
The Americans have the tradition of anti-tradition, and they thought the truth should be tested by personal and social practice, rather than invariable, unchangeable like the mechanical clauses. They hold developmental ideas, object obeying, and encourage exploration. Sometimes, they try to chase the new and strange to a crazy station. What’s more, Americans believe in the individualism, and everyone has an “American Dream” of their own. That’s why they admire the heroes, and the heroes are their goals of struggle.
Americans oppose the authority as well, no matter in the field of thinking, or the great leaders. Since the colonial times, the Puritans had a serious supervising on the power. The public has the right to criticize freely, and no exceptions for the presidents who had a great reputation like Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt.
As a result, when some so called “authorities” turns out to be a bad man, there always will be someone to get rid of him from the society. That’s all the public wants, even though their heroes are not well educated, in strange dresses, or violate the law during their task. On one hand, people can see the heroism in the Hollywood movies; on the other hand, the people’s spirit explains the rise of heroism movies and televisions.
4.2 The Influence of the World War II and the Anti-terrorist War on Americans
The Second World War had passed more than 60 years, and all agreed the fact that it was a catastrophe on the history of human being about the war which lasted for years. And people agreed another fact that the United States had turned to be the number one capitalism empire after the war likewise. The economic and military might of America was greater than ever before. Although America lost a lot in the Pacific, the continental America was not disturbed by the World War II, which gave America a precious opportunity for their national economy. From then on, the Uncle Sam has been playing the role of “world police”, having a voice in the international affairs. Gradually, the Americans develop a feeling for heroism, and mistake America as the god on the earth. #p#分页标题#e#
If the World War II was the worst war ever for America, then the Anti-terrorist War was the longest war, which broke out with the “9.11” event. And it is still not ended today. It was since then that both the American government and people were so sensitive that they suspect any one Arab to be a terrorist. Therefore, the images like the “Spider Man” appeared.
Generally speaking, the Second World War and the Anti-terrorist War have a great influence on the American audiences. Therefore, Hollywood directors made numerous heroism films to meet the needs of the market. Consequently, this kind of movie enjoys a large popularity in America and even all over the world.
Unquestionably, the Prison Break is a television which enjoys great popularity. The key to its success is it meets the need of the audiences, which means it is a standard heroism television besides its thrilling plots. And it is the heroism that satisfies the audiences.
Meanwhile, we found out several reasons for the rise of the heroism pictures. On one hand, from the view of the spirits of the Americans, it is the disobedience in their bones that contributes to the admiration of the heroes, for all the heroes are typically brave and unusual. On the other hand, from the view of the influence of the World War II and the Anti-Terrorist War, the outside self-importance and the inside scare provide the environment for the directors of the Hollywood. As the only superpower in the world, the Americans are undoubtedly arrogant. While, the “9.11” event has brought about great horror among the public; therefore, they are afraid of the terrorists. Because of the above two reasons, the Prison Break came into being.
The age is changing, and so is the culture. In nowadays America, most people are likely to chase the heroes, and the directors notice the trend. Then a number of heroes were born, and more heroes are following their steps.
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