Connectedness: The Mortal Weakness of Captain America

I can hear the shallow critics chastising Captain America. It is funny how a large part of the target audience for that movie in all likelihood didn’t get it. Taking things at face value is a mistake in my opinion, but maybe I am over analytical (to deep for my own good), and already six feet under! As the only woman in my household (other than a female Siamese cat and a female Teacup Chihuahua), I was out voted on our last trip to the movies. I wanted to see the new Harry Potter, but my son insisted I tag along to go see the first avenger in action. I’ll admit that I was not thrilled to buy that ticket, but I was pleasantly surprised. I love it when directors, writers, and Hollywood glams, do an excellent job conveying cliché ideas. You know- the cliché movie scripts with heroes, villains and lovely women? But in this one, I saw something more. Captain America: The First Avenger was a refreshing story about connectedness.

Captain America

The story line starts with the Nazi invasion of Norway in 1942. The Nazi were interested in stealing a blue tesseract (prism cube), for the special powers it housed. America is prompted to create a super-soldier for enhanced defense against Red Skull, Adolf Hitler’s ruthless agent. Chris Evans, plays the role of Captain America. He starts off as Steve Rogers, a 90 pound asthmatic from Brooklyn. Though he is dedicated to becoming a solider, he is the last person that the military wants to accept into service (WWII). He is continually denied for health reasons. He is also shunned by shallow women, who prefer the company of his handsome, and well built friend (already in the military). He does not appear to care. As a patriot, he is connected to his goal. At last a scientist, Dr. Abraham Erskine (played by Stanley Tucci) swoops him up at a conference on the future of technology. The scientist listens in on the potential soldier, because he sees something far more than physical in him. Because of Dr. Erskine, Rogers is accepted into a special program with the military. The program is looking to create a new kind of soldier using the injection treatment of an extraordinary serum.

It is during his training to become a super-soldier that Rogers meets, and is enthralled by Agent Peggy Carter (played by Hayley Atwell). She is beautifully captivating in the movie with red lips, sharp shooting, perfect hair and perfect heart. Within two specific instances, Agent Carter falls in love with the mind and spirit of a man. In one scene, Colonel Chester Phillips (played by Tommy Lee Jones) tells the soldiers to fight to get a flag off a flagpole, and then offers a reward of traveling with Agent Carter. Colonel Phillips and Agent Carter watch all men but one combat to take the flag. The colonel laughs and says that not one person had successfully taken that flag down in 17 years. The soldiers start to walk away. Just then, Rogers walks right up to the pole (as his colonel yells for him to fall back) to pull a metal pin out of the bottom. To the amazement of all, the pole drops to the floor and he gets the flag, then gets into the truck with Agent Carter. Witnessing his smarts, Agent Carter is impressed.

Agent Carter (Hayley Atwell) in Captain America- 2011

The second scene that takes Agent Carter’s breath away is when he displays relentless courage. Colonel Phillips begins to doubt Dr. Erskine with regard to selecting Rogers to become the super-soldier, and decides to test the soldiers. He tells Agent Carter that nice people don’t win wars. Colonel Phillips reaches for a grenade, says “this is what wins wars,” and then throws the grenade near the soldiers. All of the stereotypically brave men run and hide, while Rogers yells “run” and cradles the bomb to shield others from the explosion. The patriotically courageous act, again wins him major points with the woman. In his series about the Ancient Greeks, Dr. Boeree (a noted researcher) addresses this idea. Plato (Aristocles) was a philosophy student of the infamous Socrates. Plato believed that the phenomenal world strove to be “ideal, perfect, and complete.” If that is the case than it is true that ideals are a force which we draw motivation from. Plato believed that our souls were drawn to good, and the ideal.

Of course you know how the rest of the story goes. Captain America does get the girl. He gets the girl much sooner than most watching that movie would think. Captain America actually gets the girl as Steve Rogers, in his unclouded form. Dr. Boeree also distinguished three levels of pleasure in his studies on the Ancient Greeks. The first two were physical pleasure (sexual connections), and esthetic/sensuous pleasure (admiring beauty, marital connections). Plato believed the highest level of pleasure was attained through the pleasures of the mind. That given, it makes sense that the agent and the captain experienced a unique connectedness. In his paper, Dr. Boeree says “the example would be platonic love, intellectual love for another person unsullied by physical involvement.” Sadly, the two never have the chance to become lovers.

Captain America (Chris Evans) and Agent Carter (Hayley Atwell)


Steve Rogers is transformed into Captain America, and then he is whisked away to promote war bonds in Italy (1943). It turned out the reason that Dr. Erskine selected Rogers, was because the serum would “enhance” whatever was already within a person. If you were bad, it made you worse, and if you were good, it made you better. Captain America ends up having to crash his plane into the Arctic at the end of the movie. He talks to Agent Carter over the radio while together they descend. They discuss “waiting for the right person,” as they realize it will be the last time they will ever communicate. He makes sure to set up a date to take the agent out to dance, though they both know it will never happen. He misses that date after waking up in New York from a 70 year long deep sleep, looking not a day older than he remembers. He notes that he missed his date.

Agent Carter fell for Captain America before he was a captain. In her eyes, he was simply Steve Rogers. This intelligent being was capable of capturing her psyche, making her heartbeats skip, and was able to halt an evil empire with realness. At first glance, one could not unveil the mortal weakness of Captain America.


Captain America: The First Avenger (Movie Trailer)


Another interesting look at the idea of mind-body connection:

Mind, Body Connection with Deepak Chopra – CBS News Video


Explore posts in the same categories: Analysis, Movie Review, Movies, Philosophy

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