The object is an illustration present in a rectangle paper. The paper itself is glossy, thin and fine meshed. In the object, the words “SUPERMAN” can be found illustrated at the top of the paper in a block, all caps font, colored yellow with red lining. Below it and slightly to the right can be found the words “SUPERMAN ON EARTH” set in yellow all caps block font. At the center of the rectangular paper is a depiction of a male Caucasian garbed in a blue colored fitting suit, with a red triangular cloth covering the genitalia and a red cape flowing from the shoulders.
Situated at the center of the man’s chest is a symbol, an “S” painted in red inside a red outlined pentagon filled with yellow. The illustration of the male Caucasian is seen standing over a depiction of the horizon of the world. On the left side of the male is an illustration of an explosion, with rocks being scattered. At the center of the explosion is an illustration of an elderly man and a woman garbed in a grey suit. The elderly man has the same symbol on his chest as that of the male in the center, although the elder man’s symbol is outlined in black.
To the right of the male Caucasian in the center is a depiction of a star, pale white in color, with spires arising from the four primary and four secondary directions. The background is set in a black sky dotted by stars. A circular emblem colored blue and white and containing four stars set around the letters “DC” can be found on the upper left corner. Slightly below it is the words “No. 1, May ‘02” inside a yellow star like object. From the treatment of the paper to make it glossy, it is probable that this superman figure is of some importance to their (American) culture.
The words “Superman on Earth” denotes his origin as extraterrestrial, as seen when accounting for the stellar background. The couple to his right is probably his parents since the elder man has the same symbol emblazoned on his chest. Deriving meaning from the name, superman means a man above the rest or a man better than the rest, giving a clue that the man is no ordinary human and may be imbued with special powers. His bearing whilst sanding over the world is more of as a guardian that as a creator giving a hint that as someone with extraordinary powers, he may have used those powers to guide or guard the world.
In considering all of this, the figure could be a mythical hero of their culture whose exploits are recorded or told in a series of manuscripts using detailed illustrations and words to convey the story. The “no1, May 02 may refer to the date this illustration was created or made available. Biological Context of the Object Humanity’s interest in mythical heroes can be seen throughout history. These heroes usually have above average traits that set them apart from the normal persons of the times.
This drive can be a result of humanity’s recognition of evolution and the principle that those with particular traits like incredible strength or stamina survived much longer and are better equipped to accomplish more than their ordinary counterparts. This veneration for those with extraordinary powers probably arose upon man’s recognition of his own physical limitations. When compared upon his prey, animals, man saw that there are some traits that would be useful. Flight in birds, speed in cheetahs, strength in bears, endurance of mammoths, and these traits made man wish that they had them.
These wishes translated to mythical accounts of what it would be like to have those kinds of powers, accounts that are now perceived as myths and legends. Humans are the only species to be found capable of abstract thought. This allows us to manipulate resources in order to derive enjoyment. Literature, arts, these things enable us to derive enjoyment from our current society. Throughout history, civilizations have tried, after realizing their basic needs, to indulge in pleasure. Curiosity in man has also led to advancement.
Myths and legends are byproducts of mans inquiry as to the nature of the world and philosophy as to the nature of the self. The object is a product of man’s persistent question, what if? Cultural/historical context: Depictions of individual with powers greater than that of mortal men can be found throughout history, in various cultures. These can be found in depictions of supernatural beings with extraordinary powers. Usually, myths stem from established cultures whose basic needs like food, shelter and security are ensured. It is then that the society turns to explaining the world around them.
These are the foundation of first the creation myths, found in the Epic of Gilgamesh, Greek, Babylonian and Nordic myths, as well as the Bible. Levi Strauss argues that myths stem from people’s intellectual inquiry, from the desire to explain self, surroundings and society. Various cultures around the world have provided objects by which beings with powers are depicted. These includes clay tablets where the epic of Gilgamesh is written,, the bible, ceramics depicting Hercules, Aztec pottery depicting Quetzalcoatl, among others.
In these, it is evident that the heroic figures play a much important role to society than merely stories. Myths are closely tied with religion, as with the Norse, The Babylonians, the Greeks and the Romans. The concept of myths in early civilizations is most often a reflection on the prevalent culture, society, politics and beliefs of the people. Not all heroic stories stem from myths however. Most often, heroes in folklore have also superhuman powers. And most often, the stories portray the hero not just in one setting or one plot.
Instead multiple stories abound, yet the protagonist remains the same. This is evident in Beowulf, the labors of Hercules and in American folklore, Pecos Bill and Paul Bunyan. In American culture, folk heroes usually offer a glimpse of the culture of the times. The spectacular deeds of Pecos Bill and Paul Bunyan reflect upon what was considered the ideal American of those times, strong rugged, humorous and witty. They reflect a culture that is wild, that sees itself as being capable of great things.