American Heroes; Analysis of Heroes in "Flyboys"

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Since the Wright Brother's epic first flight in North Carolina, airplanes have been an important part of American history. These aviation machines made their debut in combat during World War I. Although not very efficient or safe these new machines of flight provided the militaries of several countries including, France, Great Britain, and Germany with a new tactic of fighting that differed greatly from that of the trenches on the ground. During World War I, before the United States decided to enter the war, young, determined, and brave American volunteers traveled to France to join in the fight against Germany. The movie "Flyboys" portrays stories, inspired by true stories of these American heroes. Throughout the film we are able to identify all types of the literary hero including the warrior William Jensen, the teacher/prophet Reed Cassidy, and the trickster Blaine Rawlings. William Jensen, the archetype of the traditional "pretty boy" is the warrior hero of the film. Tall, blonde, and blue-eyed, this loving family man possesses an anxious attitude of returning from France a war-hero much like his father and grandfather were before him. During the movie he goes through an extended stage of shock which impairs him from flying for quite a while. He matched his strength against the system and was able to recover from his shock. Jensen represents maturation beyond that of the trickster in the fact that everyone including himself thought that he would never be able to fly again, and yet he did. He overcame the large challenge of going through shock to become a "knight of the air." Jensen continued to fly till the end of the war, and then returned home. He received a hero's welcome. The teacher/prophet hero is one that guides, inspires, and of course teaches others. Reed Cassidy is the teacher/prophet in the film. Through his actions and past experience Cassidy

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