Sun, 01 Oct, 2023

Decoding the Secret of Superhero Stories

By Gopal Chitaure

Most of us, if not all of us, must have grown up either watching or listening to superhero movies and stories. Either in the comics like “Spiderman” or the novel based like “Harry Potter” or be it in the form of stories, they have been integral part of our childhood, if not adulthood, from antiquity. Not only do heroes always win, but also they must have common faces, besides being integral part of our life. I assume their DNA must have similarities. So, I believe decoding its DNA must reveal the secret of these stories. Let’s use the technique called DNA fingerprinting to see what’s common in these stories. Let’s overview a superhero story, let it be Harry Potter. How little poor chap turns to greatest wizard of all? Let’s not be intrigued by his success, but let’s rather have a look at his journey. The parentless Harry is under his aunt’s care until he realizes, is made realized actually, he does belong to some other world, world of magic. He then, fascinated with magic, friendship, love and trust as his weapon, moves on in the journey, a journey of transformation of not only self, but also the magical world. Searching “hocxrus”, a treasure, was never easy, in fact he has to face his fears, but ultimately he fights them and finds all. Later, near to the end of the story, he challenges his worst fear, death, and manages to overcome it. And all the way to happy ending, Voldemort is killed by Harry, and Harry suggests “power” blinds us. Let me draw a general outline of the story, hero is a normal guy. He is encouraged to push beyond his limits, he has to go through a journey to achieve a treasure where he fights his fears, experiences near-death accidents, and finally hunts the treasure. After treasure hunt, there is resolution, effort to give audience an inspiration. This DNA strand, I would like to call, is not only true for Harry Potter, but also will be true for every superhero story. Every superhero is a normal human who is inspired to think beyond his/her boundaries, has to go through journey to either protect or achieve the treasure, and there is a resolution after s/he is back from his journey. I believe these stories are written for a cause, to inspire humans using metaphors. What is common between you and Harry and other superheroes? You are a normal human like them. You too certainly have fears, fear of public speaking, fear of exams and fear of failure... etc. What I assume is these stories is to inspire you to fight like the superheroes. Fight, does not mean to literally fight with Voldemort as Harry did. Rather it means to fight, the metaphoric Voldemort, your fear. And do well for humankind as every hero does. So, with DNA fingerprinting we decoded the reality behind the superhero stories. Now it is our duty to fight our fears to achieve the “treasure” in our life, and aid the development of human race with the “resolution”. -Inspired by Joshep Campbell, Author: “Hero with thousand faces” ( About the Author: Gopal Chitaure is a writer/developer at Nepallica. )