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Superhero Awareness Essay

2780 words - 12 pages

Asjah Johnson
Liz Medendorp
ENGL 1410.027
6 May 2015

The Science of Villainy
Many people have a psychological need to be a different person and the world of fiction provides an opportunity for them to do just that. With the everyday stresses and the hassle of a normal life some people need to escape from their mundane reality. They can do this by reading books, watching movies, or playing video games. Unfortunately, some people cannot find the line between reality and fiction and often blur the two, or disregard reality completely. There are many cases of people who choose to do bad because it is what they want to do and there are others who do this because of something that happened ...view middle of the document...

It can make them desensitized to having a strict line between good and bad thus proving a point that some people have an innate aggression that helps them to make these stories. In this case, nature might make them act a certain way because it is in them. Watching these cartoons where serious crimes are presented to make one laugh mixes up morals that most children already have about the basics of right and wrong, or good and bad taught to them by their parents and the people who surround them. It is said that watching these images can have “their abilities to distinguish right from wrong and fantasy from reality, mitigate the likelihood that young viewers will perpetrate the violent acts shown in cartoons on others in real life.” (103). Although the evidence for this behavior is compelling it is also said, in the same study, that the children that were in this study also were asked to evaluate the actions of certain individuals and judge what type of punishment, if any, they should receive. They found that the children “negatively evaluated all moral transgressions, both realistic and cartoon…” and “…judged cartoon transgressions as more harmful than realistic transgressions. Because cartoons are characterized by exaggerated facial expressions and body actions…” and thus influenced their decisions to suggest a harsher punishment.
Agreeing with the previously mentioned facts, the journal from Steven J. Kirsh and Paul V. Olczak states that having violent images in a continuous manner, i.e. cartoons, takes less imagination to produce and therefore violence is being “shown” to the viewer and requires less of an active mind to put the pieces together and know what is going on. The images are received but the viewer does not have to be completely checked in to follow a story. But with the images in comic books, the violence you see differs because you are not told or shown exactly what is going on. Comics are specifically the object of attack in this article.
In comic books, the storyline is told in partially connected frames. Thus, continuity between frames must be inferred by the reader. For instance, in one frame of a comic book a lone hero was shown brandishing a sword in an attack arc. Then, the next frame of the comic book depicted a warrior lying on the ground with the hero standing over him. Although the actual duel to the death was not shown, the reader must infer that the hero killed the warrior with his sword. This type of disconnected presentation of information forces the readers to engage their imagination. (Kirsh and Olczak)
This shows that there has to be a level of violence, or at least knowledge of violence, in the person to connect the dots and beg upon their imagination to know what the action was in the “invisible” frame of the comic books. They in turn become in active part in the violence that is taking place, so the effects seem to be a little more detrimental. This article infers that there is something violent already...

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