American Hero

.. as known around the world for his writing of adventures through space, he once again electrified the movies screens and book stands with his Indiana Jones Trilogy.” (Planet Indy NP) “The first book and movie in the series is Raiders of the Lost Ark. Readers and viewers find Indiana Jones in the Peruvian jungle in 1936, running a booby-trapped gauntlet to fetch a solid gold idol” (Planet Indy NP). Indiana puts himself in danger in order to achieve the task at hand He retains the artifact only to lose it to his chief rival, Belloq. This begins the story of Indiana Jones and his quest for the long-lost Ark of the Covenant. But during his search Indy is meet by the Nazis. Hitler hopes to find the Ark and use it to make his army invisible.” (Planet Indy NP) Indiana Jones finds the Ark, but as he finds it, so do the Nazis.

They had followed him the entire time and planned to take the Ark as soon as he found his prize. They did eventually get the Ark but Indy out-smarts them and gets away with the Ark the defeats the Nazis. Indiana uses wits in this novel in order to defeat his enemy, which is a prime characteristic of the American hero. “Lucas and Spielberg join forces again and conjure up the sequel to the first Indiana Jones adventure, Temple of Doom. Indy gets right down to the problem at hand: retrieving a precious gem and several kidnapped young boys on behalf of a remote East Indian village.” (Planet Indy NP) Indiana puts his life in danger in order to help his friends as he accepts to help the Indians get back whats rightfully theirs.

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His companions this time include a easily frightened, night club entertainer, Willie Scott, and a feisty 12-year old kid named Short Round. “Throughout, the plot takes second place to the thrills, which include a harrowing roller coaster ride in an abandoned mineshaft and Indys rescue of the heroine from ritual sacrifice” (Planet Indy NP). Indy once a again escapes a near death situation by using wits and his will to survive. “In the third and last of the Indiana saga, The Last Crusade, we learn how young Indy first developed a taste for adventure and his life long fear of snakes. He is asked by an art collector to search for the Holy Grail.

He doesnt accept the offer until he finds that his father is missing while searching for the same artifact.”(Ebert NP) Indy, again, puts his life in danger in an attempt to rescue his father. Indy finds himself trying to escape the long arms of the Nazis. “The much-sought-after religious artifact is not easily found. When it is finally found its powers are a bit too much for those impure in heart. As expected, the Jones family and companions prevail in the end and ride off into the sunset together” (Ebert NP).

Indy rescues his father and accomplishes his primary goal and then defeats evil by out smarting them and showing a pure heart. Again, Indiana is showing the attributes of an American hero. These films show a get deal of heroism by Indiana Jones by evading danger, finding trust in his faithful companions, being smarter than the enemy, and always ending well. The viewers are left with thoughts of bravery in themselves after reading the book or watching the movie. Though Indiana isnt faultless he is still portrayed as one of the greatest heroes of all time.

These films allow viewers to fall into the story and feel as though they are there with Indiana. They are astonished by every escape that is made and every idea he conjures up. Each movie that Indiana Jones appears in grosses over $175,000,000 and is one the highest grossing films of all times. Proof that the public views Indiana as there favorite American hero. Natty Bumppo was viewed as the American hero of his time because of his acts of heroism by displaying bravery, never making a mistake, having a loyal companion, escaping physical danger, and always prevailing in the end. Indiana Jones also has many of these characteristics.

Because of Indianas fear of snakes, he isnt faultless; and this fear inhibits him from giving a perfect performance. Ever since he was an adolescent, Indy has feared snakes. But, as he grew older, he must cross snake-infested tombs and forest. This quality is admired by the audience because Indy is seen as being imperfect. This appeals to the audience since they are imperfect as well and they can relate to his fears. The imperfection of Indiana makes the story all the more believable.

In both novels, the characters are attempting to assist the same groups of people. In every Leatherstocking Tale, Natty either has a Native companion, or is trying to rescue them. In The Temple of Doom, Indiana agrees to help an Indian tribe rescue their children and retrieve their sacred jewel. Also, both characters are seen during there childhood. This gives explanations for some of the characteristics in both heroes. The Indiana Jones character faces danger much more often than does Natty Bumppo, which maybe a sign of what the future will bring.

Since Indiana Jones, the heroes have become more action related and have had less emphasis on plot and story line. Seems the viewers and readers alike demand to see battles and wars which only show violence and the onslaught of evil in there heroic literature and movies. These stories and movies are becoming increasingly popular and, as shown in recent comic books and movies, the future of action literature seems to depict the American hero of the future as only muscles and a thirst for blood. Natty Bumppos and Indiana Joness characteristics are very similar. They both show incredible bravery by coming to the aid of strangers and friends when they are in grave danger. Both characters always have faithful companions who are with them throughout their journey.

They always find a way out of danger by conjuring up the most effective plans for the situation at hand and in the end always escapes the villains. The heroes death is never caused by the enemy and the adventure always ends well. Though the future may bring a new breed of heroes to the public, Natty Bumppo and Indiana Jones will always be remembered, by all who may of read of them, as the true American heroes.