Crossing the Borders to Be/Meet Superman

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  • Title: Crossing the Borders to Be/Meet Superman: Exploring the Symbolism of Superman in "The Boy Who Could Fly" and "Bekas"
  • Author(s): Heidi Bayoumy
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: New Directions in the Humanities
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Literary Humanities
  • Keywords: Superheroes, Superman, Children’s Films, Kurdish Films, Comics, Children’s Literature
  • Volume: 17
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2327-7912 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-8676 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-7912/CGP/v17i02/81-94
  • Citation: Bayoumy, Heidi. 2019. "Crossing the Borders to Be/Meet Superman: Exploring the Symbolism of Superman in "The Boy Who Could Fly" and "Bekas"." The International Journal of Literary Humanities 17 (2): 81-94. doi:10.18848/2327-7912/CGP/v17i02/81-94.
  • Extent: 14 pages

Abstract

The importance of superheroes in films and literary works for children and young adults has increasingly gained academic interest due to their great influence on the target readers/audiences. Drawing upon both child psychology and the psychology of superheroes, the proposed article will attempt to discuss the symbolism of superheroes, particularly Superman, in the American short story “The Boy Who Could Fly” (2009) by Perry McMullin and the Kurdish film “Bekas” (2012) directed by Karzan Kader. In both works, Superman emerges as a significant symbol of endless power and freedom. The sole wish of the children protagonists in the selected works is to have powers which break the boundaries of time and space just like Superman who by embodying freedom, resurrecting unjustly killed parents, and regaining children’s lost rights, has the ability to make their dreams come true. Since such a wish involves social and political issues, the article will also highlight the problems that the children protagonists face/suffer from, such as the negative aspects of power, namely, poverty, violence, and oppression.