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Perception Is Everything: A Look Into 1980s Culture And Sin City

1948 words - 8 pages

Between the 1960s and the 1980s, the priorities of Americans shifted from a patriotic concern for the country’s welfare to a concern for self-advancement. “A 1980 study by UCLA and American Council on Education indicated that college freshmen were more interested in status, power, and money than at any time during the past 15 years. Business Management was the most popular major” (Whitley). Similarly in the graphic novel, Sin City, wealth, power and status play an important in the dynamic of the environment. The main character, Marv, is a strong, athletic and lonely man has a personal vendetta against the most powerful man of Sin City, Cardinal Roark. The author, Frank Miller shines light on the culturally prevalent desire for power, status and wealth, which recurred in the late 1970s. The purpose of this book is to show his readers, young adults in the 1990s, what kinds of mistakes and corruption occurred in the generation before them. He does this by portraying wealthy figures as all-powerful, exposes what kind of an environment unequal distribution of wealth breeds and uses Marc as a figure for the audience to identify with.
Despite being a cliché, “Being drunk with power” can be true to its meaning, for people with power can act quite senseless. Based upon the information given to the readers by Marv, Cardinal Roark is publically known as a man of god, a war hero, philanthropist, educator, and the most powerful man in the state (Miller). Marv believes he is the most powerful man in the state because he has the ability to bring down mayors and to be able to have the governor of his choice elected. No matter what a person may believe is the definition of “power,” one fact is that a way to power is through wealth. Roark is a man behind the curtains; he obtained his money through his family business of prostitute trafficking. Because of his power, Roark believes he can get away with anything. “The women were nothing. Whores. Nobody missed them. Nobody cared. And then that one girl—Your Goldie—Almost ruined everything” (Miller p.191). The description of these women as nothing by Roark is evidence that his whole way of thinking has changed because of his power. He believes that because he can think of normal people with a certain occupation as lower than him, inferior. If the average person decided they wanted to be a cannibal, it would be considered no less than murder. However Roark has developed a diet of human flesh because he can exercise his power in any way he feels. This is a common thread between people who possess power, be it politically, family or wealth related. For example in 2001 the executives of a major energy company, Enron, used their power to lie about their profits, used loopholes, and small side companies to ultimately hide billions from investors, board members and employees. Eventually the laws caught up with these corrupted businessmen, and were sentenced to up to 24 years in prison. It was people like them and a...

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