Morality and Mortality: Captain America and the American Dream

The American Dream is something that has permeated our culture from an extremely young age for most people living in the United States. This concept of becoming a better version of yourself, more intelligent, more physically fit, more you, is exemplified in the comic universe of the one and only Captain America. In the article (link at the bottom), it is discussed how Cap has always represented the morality that all individuals should strive for, American and otherwise, but what does this truly mean for us in the real world of no super powers?

In terms of morality, Captain America is the pinnacle of what is good and right in the world. Standing up for what he believes in, protecting those that cannot protect themselves, and doing everything he can to protect the American way. While he certainly is not perfect, he does hold himself to a strong moral code, one that he very rarely goes against. His physique is certainly not something to be overlooked, but it is not what makes him the hero he is. Other heroes have incredible physical abilities, but not many have the same “stay true to yourself” mentality that Captain America seems to want us all to have. His sense of moral value even grants him the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of wielding Thor’s mighty hammer of choice.

On the subject of his mortality, Steve Rogers was certainly nothing more than an average person, maybe even less than average physically. After becoming Captain America, of course, that changes drastically. He gets newfound powers, the physique greater than any human, and a slowed aging process. While this has its own benefits for the sake of fighting off evil, it also says a lot about the American Dream that he represents: it is timeless. This dream of being all that you can be is one that has transcended generations and will continue to do so for many more to come. With this in mind, however, it also does allow us the opportunity to see that this is not only a dream for us but one to be shared with the next generation as well. This is represented when Steve Rogers finally passes on the torch of Captain America in order to continue the good fight.

Captain America is the ideal superhero. Upstanding morals, peak physical condition, and even more than that, he is human. He started as no more than the average Joe, and he made something of himself. He did not stay caught up in the idea of being better than those around him; rather, he decided to better others as well. He is one hero that will never go out of style.

 

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117241/captain-americas-moral-philosophy

  1 comment for “Morality and Mortality: Captain America and the American Dream

  1. maggiemcmaken2017
    September 13, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Although I agree that Captain America was not a stuck-up hero, I would say though that the idea of him being the American Dream is not an ideal one. When looking at him in the eyes of the American dream, you see a scrawny little man who was just your average Joe who under went changes to make him Captain America. He had to change his physicality and stop being average in order to be someone that the public could look up to. If you take what idea I just said and interpret it as the American dream, you are telling people that they have to ditch who they are, what make them who they are, in order to do anything in America and that they will achieve it. Little do people with this dream know though is that just because you ditch who you are and change a piece of yourself here and there, does not mean that you will achieve the American Dream. The American dream is propaganda used to lure immigrants in and jack up taxes, just like how Captain American was used as propaganda to say that the fight against the Nazi was a fight for everyone to fight. I will give credit to Captain America that he did not ditch his morals, but he did ditch who he was in order to become this American Dream that seem like only white men can achieve.

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