Week_4_summaries - Warshow gangster as tragic hero He talks...

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He talks about how it as American obligation and tradition to be optimistic. However, “this optimism is fundamentally satisfying to no one.” And there’s always going to be someone, somewhere creating opposition to this inherent optimism. This opposition has to be disguised usually in order to be accepted, and the gangster film is a prime example of this as it is essentially a widely accepted tragedy. One of the reason’s it’s widely accepted is because it follows the expected guidelines of a genre, and the audience likes that because it “creates its own field of reference.” The essential thing about gangster films is that they are universal to Americans. We understand it very closely as it “expresses that part of the American psyche which rejects the qualities and the demands of modern life.” It rejects Americanism itself. He then talks about how the city is a staple of the gangster film as any gangster movie can exemplify. One of the reasons we like gangster films is because it’s a response to sadism: “we gain a double satisfaction of participating vicariously in the gangster’s sadism and then see it turned against the gangster himself.” Brutality envelops the gangster film. We see the gangster rise through violence and brutality and we see him fall through either his or someone else’s own aggression. He then references the city
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2008 for the course CTCS 192m taught by Professor Boyd during the Spring '08 term at USC.

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Week_4_summaries - Warshow gangster as tragic hero He talks...

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