The inclusion of a hero and an anti-hero is common in many stories. A hero is usually showcased in films and books as the quiet antagonist who saves the day while an anti-hero is usually the protagonist who is driven mainly by personal desires and almost succeeds in his or her goals but is stopped by the hero.
As noted by Bonnet (2006), the anti-hero is sometimes depicted as the careless one with little regard for life, including his or her own, as long as the end goal is achieved. By examination of Tyler Durden in the “Fight club” and Clint Eastwood (Blondie) in “The good the bad and the ugly,” it can be noted that the heroes and anti-heroes are depicted in a similar yet unique manner
In “The good, the bad and the ugly,” Blondie is portrayed as character that is not afraid to fight for what he believes in. A good example of this is shown in the scene where he capture’s Tuco, who is a wanted criminal, hands him to the authorities for a cash reward and then proceeds to set him free just before he (Tuco) is hanged for his crimes. They then afterwards share the reward money. After the first rescue, the two seem to form an alliance in which Blondie would be handing over to authorities and rescuing him just before he is hanged.
Their arrangement falls apart when Tuco demands a larger share of the cash in one of the rescue plots to which Blondie disagrees and keeps all the cash claiming that Tuco had already received his reward in terms of being rescued from the hangman’s noose. This of cause marks the end of their arrangement and Tuco promises to make Blondie pay for his greed.
On the other hand, looking at Tyler Durden in the “Fight club” is also depicted as an aggressive character that is not afraid of getting into fights. This is shown when he meets the narrator of the story and after some form of disagreement, they decide to solve their problem by fighting each other.
From the novel, it is apparent that the two (Tyler and the narrator) love engaging in fights and as such, they start a fight club in their basement where men would beat each other senseless often leaving one another black-eyed, with broken arms and legs, and without teeth, among other injuries. The two stories thus show the heroes as aggressive characters who are not scared of confrontations.
Heroes are also normally portrayed as caring individuals just as Tyler is of Marla Singer. Even through Tyler has a very destructive side he seems to care about Marla to an extent that he hides most of his negative activities from her to protect her feelings. For instance, Tyler hides the fact that he has a fight club in his basement because he does not want her to be affected by the bloody activities that characterize fights at the basement.
Blondie is not so caring given in that he only rescues criminals for money. His uncaring nature is also shown at the end of the movie when he leaves Tuco in a precarious position with a noose around his neck, only sets him free from the noose after he (Tuco) almost fell of the cross. He however seems to care about Tuco when he equally shares the 200,000 USD they found hidden in a grave, despite almost being killed by Tuco earlier in the movie.
Even though Tyler and Blondie are the heroes in their respective stories, their acts are not always good and they, in more than one occasion engage in dubious activities in which they are mostly successful (Hell, 2007). Tyler is runs a successful business in which people pay to watch ugly, almost fatal fights while Blondie gets his money from conning people and authorities.
Blondie is shown as cooperating with Tuco to steal from authorities and saves Tuco from the hangman’s noose despite the many evils that (Tuco) has committed against innocent people. One would have expected a hero to help the society punish criminals. Tyler also steals from both individuals and big companies, sometimes even causing them to be bankrupt.
Moreover, the two heroes portray conmen and lying characteristics as shown by Tyler’s when he lies to Marla about the existence of the fight club while Blondie cons Tuco of the money they were to share after their dubious arrangement. Blondie also cons several authorities by first handing Tuco to them and after being paid, he sets him free and they plot to play the same con game in a different local authority.
The anti-heroes (Tuco and the narrator) in both stories are shown as fighting the heroes’ efforts but they are also shown to cooperate with the heroes in more than one occasion in situations where they share a common interest. Tyler and the narrator end up owning a fight club together while Blondie and Tuco co-operate to eliminate Angel Eyes so they can share the hidden treasure. Instead of the hero emerging as the good one and the winner, both stories end with a win-win situation for both the hero and the anti-hero.
In conclusion, while it is expected that the hero would always perform good deeds while the anti-hero evil deeds, this does not always happen in both stories. The “Fight Club” and “The good, the bad and the ugly” depict the heroes and anti-heroes in a unique way different from what would have been expected of the characters just as shown by the few examples in this essay.
Bonnet, J. (2006). Stealing fire from the gods: the complete guide to story for writers and filmmakers. New York: Michael Wiese Productions.
Hell, J.(2007). ‘Fight Club’ – A Model of a Social Revolution. Munich: GRIN Verlag.