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In Rocky, a film written and starred in by Sylvester Stallone, we are introduced to Rocky Balboa, a fictional character who lives in the slums, is a small-time boxer, collects for a loan shark on the side, and loves a shy, awkward girl named Adrian. Yet, this often dim-witted, hard working, down-to-earth guy with determination from the slums of Philadelphia is an American hero. He is an American hero because he represents one of America’s most enduring myths-the Horatio Alger myth. On their first date, the wallflower Adrian asks him why he boxes and his reply is “’Cause I can’t sing or dance.’” (Dirks 2). Yet, there are many reasons why this fictional character possesses qualities that make him an American hero.

Rocky represents an American hero because his character embodies many American values, especially important among audiences when the film first appeared in 1976 the year of the American Bicentennial. Bicentennial fervor had been growing in America for a couple years before 1976, similar to how the turn-of-the-century is now being anticipated to a greater degree with each passing day. The film took full advantage of this fascination, including the red, white and blue set decoration for the film’s climatic fight and Apollo Creed dressing up in full Uncle Sam regalia before the fight. For Rocky is an average guy who thinks he has a chance at the big time by fighting Apollo Creed. Creed’s managers stage a concept fight that pits a nobody who could become a somebody against the heavy weight champion of the world. Billed as “Apollo Creed meets the Italian Stallion”, the fight pits the average American male grasping for his shot at the big time. As it turns out, Rocky will lose the fight in a close decision, but, he is a winner in everyone’s mind because he never quit and he’s proved he’s more than just a bum. Added to this, Rocky declares his love for Adrian in the center of the ring post-f...

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Rocky. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 21:11, May 27, 2020, from