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For a college English class final we were able to make a 6-page essay on whatever we wanted so I chose a topic that interested me, Thanos as a hero and main protagonist. Anyways I'm very proud of the product and I know it's long but if you have the time give it a read.: Thanos Did Nothing Wrong What exactly makes Thanos from Marvel's Infinity War so great? His full belief in his philosophy, of randomly killing half of the people in the universe so the survivors can live in peace. A goal we the audience is supposed to hate. But there is something about Thanos's delivery that makes you question if his plan is really such a bad idea. Unlike other villains, he doesn't want power or wealth or land for himself, and in fact, he is willing to sacrifice everything for what he believes is right. The crucial factor in the argument that justifies itself is the abject randomness of it. Rich and poor alike will be subject to this culling, distinguishing it from your typical genocide. We rationalize hunting some animals because it curbs overpopulation and allows the population to stay healthy, and we snip up excess flowers from a garden so the survivors can grow healthily. Wouldn't it make sense to do the same for humans? Thanos crafts this ideology when his own planet is destroyed by the ravages of overpopulation. Earth itself has begun the decline into these same trials. Global warming, disease, famine, and crime could all be averted by a snap from Thanos, at least according to Derek Parfit. Parfit is a philosopher who, in his book The Repugnant Condition, states "For any possible population of at least ten billion people, all with a very high quality of life, there must be some much larger imaginable population whose existence, if other things are equal, would be better even though its members have lives that are barely worth living." Parfit essentially believes that even if society is the same, the more people there are, the less happy each individual would be. For example, if the population were halved, people wouldn't have to compete for jobs, education, and resources. If one abandons the normative thought that Thanos is the quintessential villain of the Avengers and all things morally sound, it isn't difficult to see the thematic parallels that best classify Thanos as a tragic hero. According to works that define a classic hero such as The Iliad and The Odyssey, a hero is defined as someone willing to sacrifice everything including themselves for the greater good of othe he arrives at all the points in the hero's journey arc, sacrifices himself for the good of others, and is justified in his logic Therefore, Thanos is the protagonist and hero of Marvel's Infinity War, because Although he is most aptly described as the villain of Infinity War, Thanos goes through the hero's journey at least once. The classical hero's journey arc is originally outlined in The Hero with a Thousand Faces, which shows that all heroes in all stories go through all the same beats and must complete similar tropes in order for a character to be a hero. To begin, the hero's journey starts with a call to action. Intriguing, Thanos's call to action is not entirely initially clear from the beginning of his introduction, or even from the beginning of Infinity War, as it is not revealed until the opening of the third act, when Thanos explains how he develops his solution of aloof genocide through the tribulations his people went through due to overpopulation. The young Thanos warned his planet of the danger of their path and that a solution, although drastic, must be executed in order to save the planet's population, but Titan didn't listen, and thus, the Thanos's mentor in the Hero's Journey, teaching him of the dangers of overpopulation, and informing him of how this problem can be solved. Titan teaches him that if Thanos fails to intervene and stands by as populations grow, societies and civilizations will crumble to the hands of time. Thanos's supermatural aid, another stage in the hero's journey, is not a physical object, but rather the knowledge that the infinity stones have the capacity to make his goal logistically practical on a universal level. The infinity stones grant anyone who has possession of all six the powers of a god, and Thanos sees this power as an planet fell into ruin. Titan also serves opportunity to expand his solution to as many groups as possible. Thanos has multiple temptations through his journey, manifesting in his love for his adopted daughter Gamora, and his constant desire to rest. His desire to rest is shown at the end of Infinity War when he "finally rest[s] and watch[es] the sun rise on a grateful universe." Finally, Thanos reaches his abyss after the events that occured in Avengers 2012 in New York, when he lost both the space and mind stones, along with a massive loss in manpower and military capital. Of course, as the Avengers are the heroes of the film at the time, they thwart Thanos's masterplan, and end up taking the stones for themselves. Thus, Thanos is left with no stones and is forced to begin his quest for the infinity stones all over again from nothing. Thanos's next part of the hero's journey especially defines his heroism, that being his atonement. The quote from baby Gamora after Thanos's snap "What did it cost?" and Thanos replying with "Everything" perfectly describes how Thanos understands the terrible sacrifice he has made, but still considers it a necessary evil to bringing about health to an aching universe. Throughout his journey during the Marvel Cinematic Universe and especially in Infinity War, Thanos is constantly willing to sacrifice everything he loves and himself in order to bring vitality to the universe. First, Thanos sacrifices the only person he truly loved in the universe, Gamora, in order to get the soul stone. Thanos had many daughters in his life, though all were simply kidnapped orphans whose families and homes had been destroyed by his own attempts at balancing. But even though he had a myriad of children to choose from, Thanos took a liking to the strongest one, Gamora. Gamora quickly became Thanos's favorite daughter, and his reliable advisor in wartime strategy. However, during the events of Guardians of the Galaxy, Gamora switches sides, fighting against Thanos to prevent him from getting the infinity stones. However, despite this, Thanos still continues to love her like a wayward child, and during Infinity WWar takes Gamora on the rest of his quest for the infinity stones. In this quest, the soul stone demands a payment for the power it provides, namely something the wielder loves, and Thanes sheds a single tear as he realizes what he most do. With great struggle, Thangs sacrifices Gamora and is given the soul stone. Along with the loss of those he loved, Thanos also sacrifices himself in a physical sense, when he snaps and the infinity stones' power destroys his arm and half his body, leaving him battered and gimped. This former celestial warlord was reduced to a husk of his former self, a thematic mirroring of his physical omnipotence showcased earlier in the film when all of the strongest heroes combined could barely put a scratch on Thanos's mighty purple head. With his sacrifices comes his reward, one that he desired throughout his whole journey, to rest. In the conclusion of Infinity War after the snap, as well as the beginning of End Game, Thanos's rest is shown as he sits peacefully and lives as a farmer in The Garden. As his armor sits on a stand in the middle of his field like a scarecrow, it reflects how he's just a shell of who he was, and even though he's lost everything, his purpose has been fulfilled, and he feels that he can finally rest and let himself be at ease, not always thinking about the next part is his grandiose plan. The scarecrow also represents how his old self, similar.to a scarecrow, scares off beasts who would prey on the scarce resources. Now, he is able to hang up the mantle, and no longer has to be the universe's scarecrow, and in tum was granted with the true hero's reward as compensation for his quest, completing the hero's journey. With the completion of the hero's journey, Thanos returns back to his familiar or regular world, and although it is not his actual familiar world in a literal sense, the familiarity comes with the peace and serenity of a farmer's life, as opposed to the constant fighting of his past war filled life. Thanos's philosophy is one not unfounded in philosophical literature, showcased in the work by prominent philosophers Malthus and Ehrlich. Ehrlich's novel, The Population Bomb, was a work that inspired terror in the hearts of countless scientists in the late 60s. Ehrlich was a Nobel Prize winning scientist, and thus his assessment that the world would face major starvation epidemics in the 70s and 80s was taken incredibly seriously by respected individuals across the globe. Jacques Cousteau, incredibly influential and famous marine researcher, went to the United Nations and told them that they needed to organize a method to kill 350000 people the world would soon suffer the effects of overburdening the Earth beyond her carrying daily, capacity. And of course, the most famous and influential, quintessential author for overpopulation enthusiasts everywhere, Thomas Malthus. Malthus wrote a host of novels all about why the population needed to be curbed, and he had plenty of famous quotes detailing exactly why, but his most famous is The Theory of Population, where he describes the geometrical ratio of the expansion of population. Malthus described a litany of woes, all sourced from unchecked population expansion, and various authors throughout the past two centuries since Malthus began writing have agreed with him. began "The Overpopulation Project," a global attempt to slow down population growth across the planet. The United Nations considers overpopulation a long-term issue, not just a singular event, as is evidenced by them labeling control of population growth as one of their core goals for 2030. fact, in July of 2018 the United Nations Of course, even considering all of the logics of Thanos's argument and the thematic undertones of the film Infinity War, it's rather obvious that Thanos's argument is incoherent, requires a juvenile understanding of mathematics, and is a thinly veiled attempt to plaster the mad titan's genocidal urges as noble. Neither Thanos nor any advocate for his position besides Jacques Cousteau realize that you need continual pruning for a population to actually stay low. If we assume Malthus is correct, that populations grow geometrically, then a population will regrow itself in a matter of years, not millennia or eons, and if he's wrong, then there's no problem anyways, and the population will check itself. The statistics also use averages for population growth, which ignores the fact that the vast majority of population expansion occurs in third world countries where a high number of children is necessary to make sure enough survive to adulthood, which will be resolved in due time as the world pulls itself as a whole from poverty. The film Infinity War is geniusky crafted in being able to constantly contrast Thanos's actions with the film's honorable executions of them, utilizing a swooping score, allusive cinematography, and well-known story tropes to pass off all of Thancs's decisions as being close enough to a hero's to mistake him for one. But the Russos' characterization of Thanos as a hero, while ingenious, is only so because he is so far from it. Thanos may believe he is a hero on some conscious level, but as is showcased in Endgame where Thanos begins an egotistical invasion of Earth and rampages through the Avengers, he is aware unconsciously that he truly just desires to kill, the power that comes from controlling another's life. His relegation of his aggressive tendencies to his subconscious in an attempt to be a noble hero just amplify them and make them bubble and boil just beneath the surface, making him unstable and violent. Therefore, Thanos is the antagonist and villain of Marvel's Infinity War, despite arriving at all the points in the hero's journey arc, because his sacrifices are made for a personal psychopathic streak, and he uses his banner of benevolence as a logical excuse for murder. Works Cited Arrhenius, Gustaf, et al. "The Repugnant Conclusion." Staford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford University, 16 Jan. 2017, https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/repugnant- conclusion/. Ehrlich, Paul R. The Population Bomb. Buccaneer, 2007. Finkelberg. Margalit. "Odysseus and the Genus 'Hero': Greece & Rome." Cambridge Core, Cambridge University Press, 7 Sept. 2009, https://www.cambridge.org/core journals greece-and-rome/article/odysseus-and-the-genus-hero/8146C3FFC480785339560270 044E827E, Gunn, James, director. Guardians of the Galacy. Marvel Studios, 2014. Malthus, Thomas Robert. An Essay on the Principle of Population. Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1798. Russo, Anthony and Joseph Russo, directors. Avengers: Infinity War. Marvel Studios, 2018. Russo, Anthony and Joseph Russo, directors. Avengers: End Game. Marvel Studios, 2019. Whe Joss, director. The Avengers. Marvel Studios, 2012. For a college English class final we were able to make a 6-page essay on whatever we wanted so I chose a topic that interested me, Thanos as a hero and main protagonist. Anyways I'm very proud of the product and I know it's long but if you have the time give it a read.

For a college English class final we were able to make a 6-page essay on whatever we wanted so I chose a topic that interested me, Thanos...

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