hellskitchen

Hell’s Kitchen’s Guardian Angel?


daredevil-season-1

The way things have become words and communication haven’t quite adapted; at least not in a single, unifying form. Phrases have become commonly used for what they imply rather than the direct definitions of the words involved. In such a way phrases and meanings have become idiomatic and don’t quite sync with societal movement. I have only seen the first episode of Netflix’s Daredevil but I can’t say there is a better portrayal of a demonic protector.

I don’t mean entirely based on the series but at least based on the embodiment and rejuvenation of the character. The horns and dark colors are weapons to help combat villainy in Matt Murdock’s case. Hell’s Kitchen isn’t a place where light commonly inhabits and angels are scarce. Even if the latter did they – angels – would not have anything but disadvantages in that kind of environment. While fighting fire with fire isn’t actually an effective tactic evil has a better chance against its likeness. This darkness cannot be penetrated by anything other than itself. It is that which makes the relationship between home, hero, and battlefield complex and allows for greater resonance. Home belongs to friend and foe creating a sense of civil difficulty. In this instance, only people can destroy and defend the places they inhabit. Outside forces have no reason to intervene.

The Daredevil character is of the environment so He has more to lose but just as much to gain. He is not only fighting injustice he is also fighting to keep his home. But it isn’t only his home. He is a guardian and a keeper and he exists to keep balance where it is disheveled. Even still it is difficult to be accepted as help by any collective population. The differing opinion compounded with the not-so-friendly fiendish silhouette creates another challenge. With more people acting selfishly it’s difficult to truly trust any person to continuously act honorably and heroically.

Maybe it’s easy for a while but to fully extend the self – an entire population – into one person’s care doesn’t work too well. The illusion of immortality aides the hero in achieving a uniform acceptance but there is often a breaking point because of one’s mortality. As much as the human mind and will-power can bare most heroisms maintain an isolated character, there is never really anyone else to share the burden. There are instances where burdens are spread through few but most often it remains with the primary hero: to fully detach one’s self as a story’s hero is itself a Herculean feat. There is no simple way to allow one’s tasks and responsibilities to be thrust upon any other being. The role of Hero is always Tragic.

A “Guardian Angel (or Devil)” is often recognized but never understood. In Daredevil’s situation the mask creates a new entity. An entity drawn from Matt Murdock, rooted against the evils of Hell’s Kitchen, and justified in the lives of those he protects. Villainy finds opposition in the Hero and the protected find themselves against evil (both of which are individual struggles) but the Hero is ultimately alone. The weight is not shared or distributed. Heroic solemnity is as much an opponent as maleficence. It’s not that the Hero cannot have friends or support but it is simpler to go without them. The best allies for a Hero are the secrets kept and silences observed. Solitude is inevitable.

Demons and Angels aren’t exactly representations of Evil or Good they are just faces; other beings. They are other parts of existence and more examples for others to understand their own lives. Still certain representations become favored and bias is created. Good and Evil as opposing forces is a result of people attempting to depict Right and Wrong to an audience. Wilt Chamberlain – former NBA Center – has been quoted as saying “Nobody roots for Goliath.” This line is completely out of context but entirely relatable. The David and Goliath story is the essential “Underdog” tale that gives hope for those that don’t see every winning situation. Goliath has no reason to lose and no one believes he will. There are plenty of situations where David fell and Goliath is triumphant but audiences don’t always enjoy those stories.

As far as Daredevil goes: Goliath – as a representation of Bad/Evil – relates because Hell’s Kitchen pits Demon against Demon. The Hero in this story may be defending Good but not all manners in which he acts are justified by the corresponding ideals. Daredevil is no David character. He is as much a Goliath as those he faces; if not more. This makes Hell’s Kitchen a battle-ground for Titans similar to the famed meetings of the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. Any world is never as simple as Good and Evil. So a Guardian Angel doesn’t have to be pure or completely embody the ideals of Good. Sometimes the only requirement of a protector is presence.

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