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Par   •  9 Juin 2013  •  866 Mots (4 Pages)  •  2 461 Vues

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Myths and Heroes

Introduction :

In order to study the notion of Myths and Heroes in class, we've focused on British characters. Most British characters relate to Britishness in a certain way and, since they've become popular figures, these characters reflect the characteristics of Britishness. The most famous British characters can be seen as Heroes since they do, in facts, have become part of the popular British folklore.

Link :

Since most of the British Heroes relate to Britishness, in some way or another, they give outsiders a glance at what defines Britishness. Let's look closer at how Britishness is defined:


1. Characteristics of Britishness

Britishness defines the British characters as much as the British characters themselves define Britishness: that is to say that culture pretty much defines itself based on the British way of life. From an outsider point of view, Britishness relates to bad food, rain, the double-decker buses and the queen, amongst other clichés that have been spread out by television and films. The British indeed have their own specific way of life, that includes such clichés, like the fact that they drink tea very often, but it's more than that. Its specific history, including the many wars they didn't lose, the industrial revolution and the British colonial Empire as well as its specific insular geographical position makes it a unique country. I believe that one of the shiniest aspects of Britishness comes with their particular sense of humor, that is kind of absurd as it is shown in the many Monty Python's movies as well as in the Flying Circus, that was the Python's TV series broadcasted on BBC in the 70's.

2. Some British characters

Let's take a look at the British characters we've studied in class and deduce some aspects of Britishness from them. So we talked about Alice in Wonderland, which is a novel that was written by Lewis Caroll in the 19th century. The main character is Alice, a child who fell down the rabbit hole, thus entering Wonderland. Wonderland is actually a metaphor of the British society, made of several characters reflecting certain aspects of that society. At first, there is the white rabbit, who's always running out of time since he's constantly looking at his clock, afraid of being late: he doesn't look very healthy: rather, he appears as a very stressed character. He represents the day to day worker, full of anxiety and worries. Then comes the stripped cat and his awkward smile: he represents sneakiness and a bit corruption (he seeks his own benefit first). The opponent to the good side of Wonderland is the Queen of hearts, who has a gigantic head: her uneasiness, caused by her difference makes her a tyrannic leader, cutting people's head off as soon as they don't do as she says. She represents the unfair and arbitrary power as it can be encountered in society (our boss for instance) or through totalitarism. Other characters are very relevant when it comes to link them with Britishness: the Mad Hatter appears as the typical Englishman: he's very welcoming to Alice, he drinks tea all day, has a weird fashion sense and seems


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