Superman continues to thrive in American culture. Superman’s dual identities appeal to many Americans because it teaches us that what seems to be an ordinary person can in fact be an extraordinary person. Although the articles we read, “Up, Up, and Oyo Very “ and “What Makes Superman So Darned American,” argue that Superman assimilation on planet Earth mimics the uniquely American view of assimilation related to immigration creates a concept of Superman Americans can relate to, I believe the successful assimilation of Superman’s hidden identity is not the main appeal of Superman in America. Americans enjoy Superman because of the idea that hope exists even when there seems to be none found throughout the Superman story. The idea that the ordinary can become the extraordinary, such as Clark Kent becoming Superman, represents the American Dream.
In many of the situations where Superman intervenes during a crisis, citizens seem to be doomed; however, help comes out of nowhere. The idea that no matter how grim things look, people can always have hope that some kind of help, perhaps a miracle, can come to save us. Anyone can bring us aid, even some ordinary looking person we pass on the street every day. The idea of looking for hope in unexpected places travels across time in America. Despite many grim times, the country continues to survive by finding hope in extraordinary citizens, many of whom once appeared to be ordinary. Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony, and many military personnel stand up for something and in their own way save America. They give us hope that someone else, perhaps even ourselves, can become a hero too. This is the same hope we find in Superman. If an ordinary person like Clark Kent can be extraordinary, then maybe we can be extraordinary too. I feel like the idea of having hope that someone will be there to save us in our time of need, especially hope that our fellow citizens will step up to help, is a strong theme in Superman and drives Superman to continue to thrive in America.