Gangster > < Hero

September 7, 2011 | | 6 Comments

Robert Warshow’s reading “The Gangster As Tragic Hero
regards this genre as the “modern sense of tragedy.” Since its
emergence it is clear that America and mass culture have a fascination
with these types of films and emphathize with the main protagonist. Warshow’s reading allows readers to
understand how and why this is the case. It is almost as if he wants readers to understand the ideology
associated with the allure of a gangster. The perception that has been created by this genre can be
misleading but like any other genre it is the way it must be conveyed to set conventions associated to
gangster films. “The experience of the gangster as an experience of art is universtal to Americans.” He
points out that its obvious that there isn’t a ganster on every corner in New York City however in order
to keep the audiences entertained it is important to live up to the hype. Just as is the ganster is “a creature of the imagination.” We see his struggle and we know why he does the bad things he does, but why do we root for him when we now he will eventually go down. The ganster is “what we want to be and what we are afraid we may become” and since we don’t actually want to live that life on the edge what better way then to take part in vieweing it on the screen. Public Enemy (1931) is a film that allows us to see engage on what life would be as a ganster with a side of pop corn…

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6 Comments so far

  1.    Amy Herzog on September 8, 2011 12:27 am

    Great start to the semester, LuzMery. I love the title of your blog, by the way– I confess it took me a minute to sound it out 🙂

  2.    Janessa Paten on November 25, 2011 6:02 am

    Aloha man! I quite agree with your thoughts. Thanks for posting this.

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