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Anti Hero Within Literature, Music, And Film.

1222 words - 5 pages

The Rise of the Anti-HeroAs society changes, so does the media. The conception of the anti-hero, a protagonist with little or no redeeming qualities, has become a true example of this change. America's growing acceptance of a violence-oriented society, untraditional lifestyle, and emphasis on materialism has created the increasing popularity of the anti-hero in modern music, literature, and film.Current music and its artists are direct representations of modern society's increasing acceptance of and fascination with untraditional lifestyle. Although many musical artists lead rebellious, outrageous, and unethical lives, their influence on the public has led to tremendous acceptance of their anti-heroic traits. Their followings have acquired and incorporated similar characteristics and values. Artists such as Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin, were among the first to start the musical anti-hero movement. From their actions and ideals stemmed an expanding genre of music based on anti-establishment principles. One example of is the gangster rap genre, whose underlying message focuses completely on the glorification of anti-heroic qualities and actions.The lifestyles of singer songwriter Jim Morrison of the Doors, and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, both greatly personify untraditional qualities, and are prime examples of anti-heroic lifestyles. Despite Jim Morrison's "consumption of alcohol and drugs, in addition to his rebellious and unprincipled lifestyle..." (Wikipedia), his constant arrests for disruption, possession of illegal substances, and indecent exposure, amongst other instances, he has been deemed "an American Poet", and is revered as genius by many. Even with his "reputation as a leather-wearing drunk beginning to proceed him, he never played down the rumors" (Wikipedia), Jim Morrison was who he was, and did not care otherwise. His "shamanistic live performances and hedonistic lifestyle" (Wikipedia) drew many towards him and his music, curious and envious of his stature and lifestyle. Morrison never toned down his act, continuing his attitude until the day he died of a drug overdose.In retrospect, Kurt Cobain's grunge "I don't care" mentality and sloppy appearance spurred the movement of an entire grunge lifestyle. It was an "anti-80's response to that decade's conspicuous consumption" (Deskin, 8). The underlying theme he induced was one of drugs and despair. This rebellious attitude appealed to many, causing much allure to Cobain's music. Many related to his rebellious and destructive feelings toward current trends in society. The finale to his mindset was his suicide. "It was an incredibly selfish thing to do, and proves his disregard for the impact of his death" (Deskin, 9). Musician-as-saint status escaped Cobain, and a more tarnished anti-heroic image remained.Society's focus on materialism has allowed the anti-hero to develop and take root in modern literature. Characters exemplifying no redeeming qualities have reached certain...

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