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Frederick Jackson Turner (1861-1932), American historian, held that the American character was decisively shaped by conditions on the frontier, in particular the abundance of free land, which engendered such traits as self-reliance, individualism, inventiveness, restless energy, mobility, materialism, and optimism.

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As Frederick Jackson Turner noted at the close of the nineteenth century in his famous and influential thesis, the frontier as such never existed as a static entity, but rather comprised a series of "successive frontiers" (42). The replication of the frontier myth in the world of the hard-boiled hero – and, indeed, in – can thus be seen in the context of repeated attempts to form one symbolic frontier after another, in what might be seen as a peculiarly American manifestation of the repetition compulsion, played out within the political, social, and cultural registers.

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As Moore asserts in his introduction, in "Everything is exactly the same, except for the fact that it's all totally different." Batman's final rebirth occurs after he fakes his own death by deliberately stopping his own heart during his battle with Superman. In a sense, Batman really does die in this scene, since, as he admits in thoughts to which Superman is listening in, "this … is the end … for both of us" (4:42). It is, after all, an unmasked Bruce Wayne who literally rises from the grave by being dug up by Robin/Carrie, and who promises the establishment that he will "stay quiet" in his underground lair. Nonetheless, the concluding lines of suggest the hero's inevitable return, albeit in altered form. While admitting that Batman is "a crimefighter who's [sic] time has passed," Bruce Wayne looks forward to a future in which the Batman's sons – members of the now co-opted mutant splinter group that wears the mark of the bat are numbered amongst his subterranean colonists – will "bring sense to a world plagued by worse than thieves and murderers" (4:47). Frederick Jackson Turner saw the expansion of the frontier as representative of the "perennial rebirth" of American society (38). Just so, Miller's graphic novel ends by beginning again, with a "return" to Batman's lost roots in a long, violent tradition of frontier survivalists.

scholarship essays Frontier and Section: Selected Essays of Frederick Jackson churchill scholarship essays Turner
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