June 4

X-Men:First Class E.C. blog

All of your HW needs to be turned in to receive credit for this blog. 

I saw the movie this afternoon and was happy to see that the historical content wasn’t too battered and bruised.  In fact, I was glad to see that the X-Men played such a pivotal role in preventing World War 3.  However, there were a few things that I noticed that struck me as odd:

1. There was no civilian control of the military in either the Soviet Union or the United States.  Sure, if you believe in conspiracy theories, this might be plausible.  And yes, the military, especially under General Curtis LeMay was pretty much a war monger.  But, I highly doubt that the American military decided to go to war by a show of hands.  There was no sign of Kennedy or Khrushchev except in newsreel or TV footage. 

2. Where was Castro’s role in any of the missile crisis stuff?  Even when the sub and the Mockingbird crashed on the Cuban shore, even when both the Soviets and U.S. warships fired at the X-Men on the Cuban coast, the Cubans were invisible. 

3. This was something I noticed right away (so sue me!): the mini skirt hadn’t been invented yet by 1962.  According to several sources I checked, it didn’t become popular until 1966.  One of the main reasons I remember this was b/c I had associated the mini-skirt with the TV show, The Brady Bunch, which I had watched over and over as a kid growing up in the late 70s (and I knew the show had debuted in 1969, the year after I was born). 

4. I was disappointed that the character named Darwin was killed off so quickly.  It seemed that he was offed before he even got to develop – leaving a noticeably paler group of X-Men behind after Shaw’s attack.  I wondered if this was some kind of attempt at irony – Shaw’s master race, Homo Superior, triumphant over a fellow mutant, and killing a number of other Homo Sapiens, in the attack on the CIA’s “secret HQ.”  It was a pretty lame attempt at irony, and it just left the X-Men w/o a strong minority character. 

Questions (choose 4 of 5):

1. How did Erik’s Holocaust figure into his quest to stop both the Soviet and American governments from destroying mutants?  Explain.

2. Where did the movie deviate from history?  At what point did you see fiction begin and non-fiction end (besides at the theatre door – suspend your disbelief in this case)?  How many instances did you find?  Explain. 

3. What role did sexism play in the movie, both intentional and unintentional (maybe unintended by the filmmakers)? Use examples with Emma Frost, Moira MacTaggart, Angel and Raven.  File:X-MenFirstClassMoviePoster.jpg

4. The mutant persecution has been a recurring theme throughout the X-Men series, both the films and comics.  What could this discrimination be a metaphor in our society? 

5. How do Erik and Charles’ different paths at tackling mutant discrimination resemble the two paths of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s?   “I’m mutant, and I’m proud.” Explain.

Due Monday, June 13 before class. 

Tags: , , , , ,

Posted June 4, 2011 by geoffwickersham in category Blogs

38 thoughts on “X-Men:First Class E.C. blog

  1. Alexandre Rochaix

    1. I believe Erik’s holocaust background gave him a desire to survive, and his death would have meant that his people’s death, especially his mother’s would be completely forgotten and irrelevant. So he decided to work against both governments to prevent the horrors of persecution from destroying another group of people. He harbored great resentment for people who were normal because they all represented hate of differences to him.

    3. I believe that the movie intentionally portrayed Raven, Angel, and Emma Frost as very sensual because they were all ignored and traumatized by the pressure of conformity, and using sex allowed for “acceptance” by men along with someone who would take care of them. So using sex became a way to overcome their disregard from society, like Angel who was a dancer and then joined Shaw for revenge and protection. Emma Frost was the iconic villain who used her looks to manipulate weak willed men into doing her bidding. She was the kind who relied on men for power, such as Shaw who ordered her around but gave her compliments and money. Finally Mystique just wanted acceptance, and she tried shifting into more attractive beings, until Magneto was the only one who accepted her.

    4. I believe the mutant persecution has to do with Racial intolerance with the Holocaust tied in. This is a recurring topic which represents people disregarding people who are different, but also presents an opportunity for people to decide how to react to these persecutions. This is a representation of attitudes during the Civil Rights movement, and the treatment of the Jewish population in Europe during the German occupation era.

    5. Charles and Erik represent Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, two radically opposing viewpoints about how to make society end discrimination. Charles/King believed in letting society accept us through non-violence and benevolence, to force them to admit the good of the persecuted. Malcolm/ Magneto wanted to protect the persecuted at any cost, and believed that society was unchangeable, so the only way to change it was by its destruction. He also believed that the persecuted would only gain respect and acceptance if they exuded force and suppression of the discriminators.

  2. Nathan Willey

    X-Men Blog:
    1. Erik’s Holocaust experience played a huge role in his journey to keep the Government from destroying mutants. If Kevin Bacon hadn’t killed his mother (never thought I’d say that in a sentence) he probably wouldn’t have had the drive to try and make a revolution. Not only would this ruin the plot of all the movies but it would also have prevented him doing what he did that ultimately prevented world war 3!

    3. There was A LOT of sexism in this movie and it played a huge role when you think about it. Kevin Bacon treated Emma Frost like Crap even though she probably could have kicked his butt with her whole diamond thing she had going on. Also, if Mystique hadn’t felt belittled by not only her skin tone but also the fact that Charles didn’t exactly give her as much credit as he should have because she was a woman, she might have never joined Magneto in the end. Another example would be when the CIA lady was told she was not worth anyone’s time because she was a woman.

    4. The mutant persecution could be tied to so many things in our society today but if I were to connect it to the time period of the time, it almost directly matches up with the persecution of alleged communists. The government thought they both were dangerous and that they wanted them out of the United States. (If you recall, a man in charge said “The other countries can deal with this problem by there selves, I just want the mutants out of MY country”)

    5. Erik defiantly represents Malcolm X (is the X a coincidence? I think not!) because he wants to fight for the mutant’s rights with violence. While Charles is clearly MLK because he just wants to make peace with the Human population and goes against those who disagree with him.

  3. Saul Levin

    1. Where Shaw’s goal was to glorify the race of Homo Superior and destroy those who he considered lesser, Erik’s goal was to fight for a people who are considered different and therefore bad by others. These goals traced back to Nazi Germany when they were on different sides because of different views. In 1962, they hated one another more than anyone in the world but were essentially both in favor of homo superiors fighting humans. Two men with totally different views were put into a situation where different views favored the same thing, so once Erik avenged his mother by killing Shaw, he continued fighting for Shaw’s goals with Shaw’s followers at his side.

    3. Sexism was only apparent to me in one form in X-Men. The mutant women were all supposed to be good looking. It gave the idea that only attractive women could be not accepted and have powers. I think the reason for this is simply that it will attract extra male viewers to the film. Moviemakers tend to do that a lot.

    4. Mutant persecution shows social culture by exposing the way that different people are excluded. But on another level, in our society if people are scared of something (maybe because it’s different) they often try to get rid of it and move on with life. In the case of X-Men, the thing that society is afraid of is too powerful to get rid of. Much like in Harry Potter, because some wizards appreciate muggles, muggles are able to survive. Professor X and his students let Homo Sapiens’ lives continue.

    5. The civil rights movement of the 1960’s included Martin Luther King trying to make everyone brothers (like Charles’ ideas of defending people) and attack the people that are excluding us and try to win without peace (like Magneto’s plans).
    Charles believed people were inherently good much like MLK and tried to make them understand mutants.

  4. hannah voigt (the one and only)

    First girl to comment!

    Let me start off by saying that I never intended to see this movie until there was extra credit involved but after convincing my grandparents (who commented through the entire movie) I am now a marval-fan

    1. Erik wanted revenge on the men who killed his mother (and probably his father) it consumes him to the point where he disobeys orders from Charles, endangers his friend and virtually turns the world against mutants. Charles was right when he said that he would never be satisfied even after killing Shaw, and he was right, Erik wanted power and control, which is what he got.
    2. The movie deviated from history the second raven changed, as much as I regret it there are no super powered mutants, it was thoughtful negotiation not superheroes that saved the world from war and certain doom.

    3. The movie was sexist in a sense that the female characters were all very beautiful and often scantily clad. In fact almost every girl was sexy and weak (angel got hit by Havoc, Emma frost is beat by magneto, raven doesn’t fight at all) but considering the target audience was men ages 13-30 I’m not surprised in the slightest.

    4. I hate questions about themes. But I believe that mutant persuciton is an effective 2nd storyline (people who are truly good do what’s right even if everyone else hates them for it) I mean what is the point of saving the world if people would actually be grateful? But acceptance has always been a problem for our country so I can understand how it would work its way into the comics. I think it implies something very simpler to Wicked the musical, sometimes no good deed goes unpunished

  5. Braxton Allred

    X- Men Extra Credit Blog
    Braxton Allred
    Wickersham 4th hr
    1) I believe that Magneto/ Kevin’s background in the holocaust was a major factor in his decisions in the future. First off, the anger and pain that he felt from Kevin Bacon killing his mother and the pain he felt from experiments is what basically fueled him his whole life until Xavier met him (and he had to find the golden mean between serenity and anger). But because he was a hurt because he was a double minority (mutant and Jew) he is extremely sensitive to any discrimination of “race” that he sees, and that’s why he decides to oppose the USSR and USA since in the end, they both just want to get rid of the mutants. Then after Kevin bacon is dead, he concentrates that fuel on protecting the mutants from the cruel judgment and hate that society puts on them (in this case from Russia and America).

    3) In my mind I really didn’t see that much sexism in the movie. The only thing I can say is that all the females in the movie were very hot and honestly kind of slutty. But in contrast to this idea, the fact that Mystique was considered ugly by society and the whole movie she’s trying to look normal but by the end she accepts who she is like Magneto suggests the whole movie and is confident in her true self and abilities ( going with the idea that beauty can be anything and come in any fashion and doesn’t have to be decided by society’s expectations/ it’s anything you want it to be)

    4) This metaphor the reoccurs as a theme in the comics and movies ties in with the fact that we as a people have a hard time accepting anything threatening, demeaning and simply different from what we are. Once again we see that Mystique is extremely influenced by society and is always worried about how she looks and also with Hank when he is trying to find a cure for his big, ape like feet. Both characters feel the need to assimilate because they don’t want to be judged and discriminated because of their looks and unfortunately if people like the mutants were to exist, chances are they would be discriminated, feared and hated because of their strangeness. The closest example that I can think of in today’s society is probably homosexual people and all the foul jokes and comments many people say about them and how we fight their right to get married to each other.

    5) Like MLK, Xavier leans towards getting rid of the hate by establishing friendship among humans and mutants by showing how mutants can help and how normal they actually are (both go with peaceful methods and unity for success). Magneto and Malcolm X on their other hand has only experienced the more cruel, painful part of society and have no confidence in mans potential for good and peace. By having strong pride in who and what they are, they try to influence society through force and violence to install a respect and maybe even dominance over their peers.

  6. Dorian Ballard

    1. The best way I can answer this question is to quote Erik when he was talking to Charles. Erik said that at the end of the day all the government was going to do was round up all the mutants and experiment on them. This is exactly what Erik had encountered during his time in the Nazi concentration camps. He knew the pain and suffering that could be dealt out to those people who were different and I think he saw that happen to his people once and he didn’t want to see it happen to his people again.

    2. Sexism played a huge role in this film. The first time was when MacTaggert needed to get into the Hellfire club and the only way in was by her taking off all her clothes and pretending to be a stripper. I don’t know why she couldn’t have pretended to be a waitress or a secretary to one of the big business execs, but once she got in the whole bombardment of men asking if she wanted to go to a quiet room with them. The thing that kind of bothered me with that scene was the only way she could get them to leave her alone was to say that she already belonged to another man. She is a freaking CIA agent she can take care of herself. Emma frost was a huge sex symbol during the entire movie. When she went to visit with the Russian military guy the fact that she was pretending to make out with him showed how weak minded men are when it comes to sex, especially Russian men.

    3. The mutant persecution can be a metaphor for so many thing in our society. It could be a metaphor for any type of discrimination, racial, sexual, religious, and so much more.

    4. The two paths taken in the movie are most relatable to the paths of Malcolm X and Martian Luther King. Kings approach was more like Charles’s approach, to fight for acceptance and respect. Malcolm X was more like Erik’s, self defense and offense if necessary, and seclusion.

  7. Brandon Herman

    1. I believe that the holocaust played a huge roll in Kevin/ Magnetos life.When he was a child he was experimented on by the nazis which fueled his rage and anger toward the world. He was also afraid that the mutants would be persecuet and this did not help to his intense anger and hatred. In a way he kind of seems like Malcom X to me. In a way he is angry and in future movies turn to be violent and extreme. And just like Malcom he saw the horrible issue when he was a child, and tried to preach his religion!

    3. I believe sexism played a huge role in the movie for istance when hellfire went to the club and had to pretend to be a stripper. I also feel that Charles and Magneto did not respect women enough and that may have been the main reason why raven teamed up with magneto and became evil. The easiest way to see this is throughout the entire movie in the way that the women are dressed. You can tell that they are trying to appeal to a mainly male crowd.
    4. Throughout all of the movies the theme of the persecution of the mutants is very much tied to the persecution of many races in our time. If we are going along with the time period it could be related to the persicution of the communists. Just like the mutants the government was afraid of them so they decided to persecute the people. Another event in the time period could be operation wet back. This was when we had a mass persecution of the mexican people. Although i believe it is more comparable to the red scare and fight against communism.

    5. I believe the struggle between Charles and Magneto is a direct metaphor or whatever to the struggle of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Charles is the spitting image of MLK. Who wants peace through non-violence and friendship with the regular humans. And just like Malcolm X Xavier has experienced the hate through the holocaust and has become more extremist. He wants to instill fear into the humans and have a new form of mutant pride and respect. So throughout the movie and the future movies they are at a constant struggle just like Malcolm X and Charles.

  8. Ben Cooper

    1. Eriks’s holocaust experience played very strongly into his quest to stop the Soviet and US governments from destroying the mutants. Both governments very clearly wanted to eliminate the mutants because they were perceived as dangerous. The Nazi scapegoating of the Jews after ww1 is very similar the anti mutant hatred that occurs in later X Men movies. Erik never wants to be persecuted again and is willing to fight violently to ensure this.
    2. The most notable instance I noticed was at the naval stand off. You never saw anything of JFK or the Soviet Premier trying to defuse the situation or do anything at all for that matter. I understand this would be far less climactic, but a mention would be nice.
    4. The mutant persecution in the X men movies comes predominantly from fear of their power. Similarly, in our society, racism plays a similar role. Southern whites oppressed black men for fear of violent retribution for their sexual crimes against slave women. People fear Latinos today because they are competing with Americans for American jobs, though I you look back; Latinos are only the most recent group of immigrants to “steal jobs”.
    5. Erik’s path clearly mirrors that of Malcolm X. Erik and Malcolm called for self-defense and believed that mutants (blacks) and Non-Mutants (whites) could never peacefully coexist. Charles, on the other hand mirrors the actions of Martin Luther King Jr. Both men called for nonviolent protest and peaceful integration of the two conflicting groups.

  9. Jacob Seid

    1. I believe that the Holocaust played a huge role in Erik’s life. When Charles and Erik were talking, Erik said how the mutants would be gathered up and experimented on. The gathered mutants would then be forgotten and because of Erik’s past and the pain and suffering he went through in the Nazi Concentration camp, he couldn’t bear to let that happen to his people and put himself through that again.
    3 I think that there was a lot of sexism in the movie. Emma Frost was mistreated even though her character in reality could have not tolerated it the way she did. The biggest part of sexism I found, was that the CIA woman was told she wasn’t worth anyone’s time because she was a woman. I do think though that the sexism helped keep the movie intriguing.

    4. The mutant persecution, to me, shows the ways of people and the culture and chemistry which forms between those people. Many things were exposed. The metaphor is: when people in our society don’t like something or fear it (in this case a society with too much power), the best thing to do is to just get rid of it or ignore it. Because not everyone had the same mind set, Professor X let the lives of the homo sapiens continue.

    5. I think that in the case of Xavier, it was much like MLKs mainly because he wanted to abolish hate and create friendships amongst the humans as well as the mutants. He did this really by showing bringing out the good in everyone—even the mutants. I also see similarities with magneto and malcom X mainly because there was more violence in their approach to find peace. They both showed that they were proud of who they are—despite the difference in measures they undertook to achieve their goals and to show others their ways.

  10. Chase Turner


    1. Magneto(Erik)’s holocaust figure gave him the passion that want, the drive to keep his kind alive, everything he did was in spit of the nazi’s killing his mom right in front of him because he couldn’t move a coin with his mind. But after she died he happed to destroy the place. He didn’t want another group of people to be destroyed that’s why he worked against both governments.

    3.Sexism was all over this movie, when you sit down and think about it there are so many examples of intentional and non-intentional sexism. The first and most straight forward example of sexism is at the end when the lady is telling the CIA about something and the man says “see this is why the CIA is no place for women”. That’s is out right sexist. Another example that comes to mind when I think of sexism in this movie is how the women mutants in this movie BARELY at all fight they are all weak and pretty, this is probably unintended by the makers but it comes off as sexist because the girl who does the most fighting is Kevin bacons telepath, and she basically only gets straggaled by magneto by a brass bed…
    4. Mutants not being excepted in society relates back to the early 1900’s-1800’s with blacks. They weren’t considered our equals, blacks were thought of as a lower form of human, the kind that does everything to please the white people, and our forced to do so. Its just another type of segregation/non-excepted type of people in society such as: racism, sexism, anythingism that people don’t like
    5. Erik resembles Malcom X he wants violence, revenge to fight for what he feels is right, while Charles is MLK he wants to be peaceful and deal with it on a scale where he preaches for what he finds right and to keep the violence to zero(or at least minimal). He goes against whom don’t agree with him and wants peace with our population of humans.

    The Hugh Jackman scene in this movie is by far the best…just saying

  11. Fred Ayres

    1. The experience of the Holocaust fixated Erik’s mind solely on destroying Shaw. Speaking of it, aren’t the bad guys always named Shaw? Hmm. In this quest, he went down a dark path, constantly giving into anger. With Charles’ help, Erik was able to calm down and reach a stage in between rage and serenity.
    Erik had only joined the ranks of the CIA in order to exact revenge onto Shaw. After he was finally able to do just that, he had no more business with the US government, especially when they turned their guns onto him. As Professor X reminded us with Erik’s memory of him and his mother, we often repress certain memories while others stay active. This is true with his Holocaust memory. He represses the good memories of the time he shared with his mother in order to justify his evil, violent actions.
    3. When making a movie that will be viewed by a mostly American male audience, it would be senseless not to put loads of sex and sexism into said movie. One of the first scenes in the movie involved several scantily-dressed women offering certain services to men. One of the X-Men, who later joins Shaw and then Erik, is Angel, who was a stripper before she was discovered by Charles and Erik. We don’t see any gigolos or male strippers in the movie at all. Hmm. Then, later on in the movie, Raven, decides to forgo wearing clothes and prances around without them.
    I’ll have to admit, though, the sexism wasn’t all that blatant in this movie. There were no major sex scenes or instances of frontal nudity, much to my dismay. We do, of course, have to take into account that this is the 1960s, a time in which women were only just starting to break out of their stereotypical shell and begin to free themselves from their male oppressors. On that account, the movie did a splendid job portraying sexism as it was.
    4. Had the movie been made in the early 1960s, the discrimination the mutants endured would be a clear allusion to the fight for civil rights. If the movie was released in the late 1960s or early 1970s, the prejudice could be a metaphor for the feminist movement and their denied rights in the home, stadium, and workplace. Now, in 2011, the metaphor is clearly for gay rights. “Mutant and proud.” Does one really have to wonder what that phrase sounds like?
    It’s great that a movie is symbolic of the fight and discrimination that homosexuals have had to persevere through for the past 50 years. The only problem is that the majority of the audience watching a super hero movie is children and adults who still wish they were children. The metaphor will shoot right over their heads and will only be picked up on by those who chose to analyze and focus.
    5. Clearly Erik and Charles’ split is a metaphor for the civil rights era schism of the non-violent movement and Black Nationalism. Erik chooses to go the route of violence and vengeance, not allowing anyone to get in his way. Charles goes a slightly more passive road and continues to fight for what he believes to be a righteous cause. Clearly, both men are proud of their mutations, though Erik is perhaps more proud than Charles and henceforth chooses to ensure that mutants have their rightful place in society. I might be ‘watching between the lines’, but I think that if Shaw hadn’t killed Erik’s mother, and Erik had no beef with him, the two would be strong allies.

  12. Cameron Crawford-Mook


    1. I think Erik’s holocaust experience really figured into his actions when he killed Shaw, because he made sure that his death was as painful and torturous as possible to get revenge on him. I also saw it when he forced all the missiles back towards the humans, because he had made them all his enemies and assumed all of them would treat him as a lab rat, the same way Shaw had.
    2. One of the biggest deviations I saw from history was that the USSR had placed missiles in Cuba before the United States had found out about it, so there wouldn’t have been a US/USSR ship confrontation with the US trying to stop the Russians from getting to Cuba to put the missiles there. The movie also didn’t show any of the diplomatic efforts that took place to try to take care of the situation, because let’s face it, negotiations make for boring movies.
    3. I think the movie had a few instances of sexism. One of the most glaring was that at the end of the movie, all of the female mutants had joined the “bad” side. I also thought that it was rather unfortunate that the movie mostly showed the female characters getting what they wanted through acting sexy, although I loved the comment at the beginning of the movie “I’m using some tools the CIA didn’t give me” and I thought the character of the CIA woman was a great example of a strong female character—at least until her memory was wiped and the ONLY thing she could remember was the kiss. I mean, really???? I feel like being nearly killed by crazed mutants and then by missiles would be pretty memorable.
    5. The two paths taken by Charles and Erik were very reminiscent of the two approaches taken by the Civil Rights leaders in the 60s. Erik (and Shaw’s) approach to killing off everyone that wasn’t like them and ruling the world as the superior race, was similar to Malcolm X’s militant strategies, while Charles’ approach was much more like MLK’s nonviolence movement. Charles wanted to be integrated into society and felt there was much more room for acceptance, while Erik felt that if they revealed who they were, the general public would freak out and turn them into lab rats.

  13. Rob Swor

    1: I think that Erik’s Holocaust essentially made him hate all normal humans. He wanted nothing more than to kill Shaw, and he only joined the CIA so he could get at him. The Holocaust made him distrust humans, because they tried to kill him, they killed his mother, and they wouldn’t accept him anyway. It also made him determined to master his powers so he could defend himself against humans and so he could kill Shaw.
    2: I think the most obvious historical deviation was that the Soviet missiles never actually reached, as Kennedy put it, Cuber. The standoff didn’t happen, although they most likely made that happen instead of letting the missiles reach Cuba because it would definitely be harder to make an exciting scene out of it if the Americans had never gone to Cuba. I also highly doubt that both the Soviets and the Americans made all of those choices, the Americans without Kennedy’s involvement, with a show of hands in a group of 15 or 20 people, though they were high-ranking, and I doubt that one man made that wasn’t Kennedy would make such a big difference in the choice to place the nukes in Turkey.
    4: This discrimination is obviously an allusion to the American discrimination of minorities in the sixties. They were hated by most everyone, a few weren’t happy with their appearance, they were given no rights, they had to be protected, and many were scared when they revolted. The two sides of the mutants are like MLK Jr’s followers, who were peaceful and just wanted equality, and Malcolm X’s, who wanted power for the minority, not the majority.
    5: Erik and Charles’ path differences are like Malcolm X and MLK Jr. Erik’s path was like Malcolm X, as he was more militant and violent, and he wanted to rule the world as humanity’s superior. Charles’ path was more like King’s movement, where they just wanted to be accepted among the race in power and they wanted to do it nonviolently.

  14. Michael Nona

    1. Erik’s holocaust experience made him want to stop both governments from killing the mutants because he had firsthand experience on how horrible it is to persecute a specific race or group of people. He also knew not to trust them because he understood the man doesn’t like that which he doesn’t understand. He told Prof X that the humans wouldn’t trust them from the very beginning but the professor thought he was being paranoid.
    3. Sexism had an underlying role throughout the entire movie. I notices that all four of the women mentioned switched teams during the film so that may be subliminal messaging for women are easily swayed or they can’t make up their minds. Also I noticed that none of the women were in charge of whatever group or team they were part of. This may be a sign that women are not fit to lead.
    4. In the x-men films it seems it is always mutants vs. humanity. I believe that if this were real life there would be a similar situation because people don’t understand mutants and therefore they don’t like them. I also think that this may be a metaphor for the discrimination used in society during the 50s and 60s. im almost surprised they didn’t have some sort of “mutants only” bathroom.
    5. Their two paths strongly resemble the paths of Dr. King (Prof X) and Malcolm X (Magneto). Both Dr. King and Prof X thought the best way to receive equality for their people is nonviolent tactics and getting them to except African Americans/mutants as real people. Malcolm X and Magneto both thought that their peaceful counterparts were wasting time and never be free without fighting. Both felt that violence was the way to go. This is how X-men resembles the Civil Rights Movement.

  15. Jenny Richter

    1. The fact that Erik was tortured and used by the Germans shaped his entire personality and determined his life goals. It was because he was a mutant that his mother was killed and he sees how minorities are treated by those who consider them less than human. This makes him a very angry person who wants to use force and whatever means necessary to stay alive and exact his revenge. This made him more protective of the other mutants in a way and made it seem to him like us and them, with us being the mutants and them being anyone who would destroy the mutants because they were different.
    3. Sexism was HUGE all throughout this movie, probably because this movie was targeted more towards men just by the concept, and what man wants to see a strong, independent woman who isn’t half-naked? Every woman in the movie was flaunting cleavage and were often used as sex tools. Emma Frost is used by Shaw for his dirty work (aka, stripper) even though she’s powerful enough that she doesn’t need him. Angel is a stripper before she is found by Xavier. MacTaggart pretends to be a stripper to get information from government officials. Are we sensing a theme here? Raven isn’t as sexual because she’s considered hideous, but she walks around naked a lot when she finally accepts her body, just in case you’re into that kind of thing. Not to mention, all of these women are WIMPS in combat! They are so easily defeated by men that it’s not even funny.
    4. The mutant persecution is a metaphor for any and all discrimination in our society. It works for any minority group, particularly those that are considered dangerous or less than human. The film really focuses in on the feelings of those that are discriminated and how they either want to be accepted (Raven and Beast), or want their minority to rule the world and destroy everyone else (Shaw and Magneto).
    5. Erik and Charles’ different paths highly resemble the paths of the Civil Rights Movement. Erik is a lot like Malcolm X, in that he feels that mutants have not been treated right at all under the current system and a new one needs to be formed were the mutants will be in charge using whatever means necessary to accomplish this goal. Justice is a huge part of this mindset and Erik is obviously into getting revenge for wrongs when he finally kills Shaw. Charles is similar to MLK because he thinks that society will accept the mutants if they prove that they are helpful to regular humans. He believes that tolerance and peace will win out and that humans are basically good, unlike Erik.

  16. Calvin Greer

    1. Erik’s Holocaust drove him in his quest so spare mutants from destruction by the hands of the Soviet and American governments because during the Holocaust his family died, but the one bright spot of it all was that this anger is what unlocked his powers and opened up endless possibilities for him. However, if her were to let himself and his fellow mutants be destroyed because of their differences (much like the Holocaust), his mother’s death, as well as his struggles to become more and more powerful, all will have been for nothing.

    3. Sexism was very prominent throughout the movie, all of which I believe was intentional by the filmmakers, probably just to show another struggle for acceptance and/or power to parallel what the mutants were striving for. Agent Moira MacTaggert was a victim of sexism throughout the movie, because I don’t believe she was every truly taken seriously by her CIA elders. If she had been a man while reporting that Colonel Hendry had disappeared by the hands of “evil mutants”, she probably would have been taken a LOT more seriously. Also, Shaw pushed around Emma Frost the entire movie. Emma did all the dirty work for Shaw thanks to her mind-reading abilities, and received no credit, only more orders from Shaw in return. A smaller example but still important, is that I don’t think Charles Xavier valued Raven’s thoughts and ideas as much as he would have if she was a boy. If he had appreciated her more, maybe she wouldn’t have turned in the end??

    4. Discrimination of mutants in the X-men series is metaphorical of our society today in that our society, too, very rarely accepts and appreciates those who are different. Just look at the very beginning of our country, when we were killing off Indians on a daily basis during westward expansion. We never let them be who they truly were, instead the only chance we gave them to survive was if they assimilated to white society. Many of these Indians refused, most prominently Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. These men and Raven have striking similarities. These men knew it was in their survival’s best interest to just go on living a white organized life, but it was difficult for them to accept it. Crazy Horse first agrees to live in the Red Cloud reservation, but in the end, when about to be arrested, battles to be himself and free again, and is killed. Raven first tries to stay in human form (and is aided by Hand McCoy—BEAST), but decides not to in the end, just as Crazy Horse did (good thing she didn’t, might I add, imagine what she would like wither her traits not cured, but “enhanced”). Many other struggles in our country’s history resemble the mutants’ struggle. Blacks were not accepted for a looong time, and to some still aren’t, as we still have, sadly, many racists in this country. Women were originally feared, too, as they wished to grow in society, but are now slowly reaching a level on par (and in some cases, surpassing) with males.

    5. Erik and Charles’ different paths at tackling mutant discrimination pretty much EXACTLY resemble the two courses that Martin Luther King, Jr. took and Malcolm X took. Charles Xavier simply (I say simple, but really it wasn’t) wished for mutants to be accepted in society, using peaceful means to achieve this acceptance, just as Martin Luther King had done. Erik Lensherr, on the other hand, didn’t just want revenge, he wanted POWER to the mutants (Mutant Power, Black Power, connection??). To quote our portrait reading, when talking about Malcolm X’s “second approach” to end racial oppression, it says, “This approach called for violent self-defense, black supremacy, and black separation to redress African American grievances. The chief product of this view was Malcolm X…whose brutal experiences while growing up in the North rivaled those of African Americans who grew up in Dixie.” Erik, too, had brutal experiences when growing up, which led to his anger and drive for mutant supremacy, not just acceptance. Notice how at the beginning of the quote it says “violent self-defense”. At the end of the movie, the ships fire at the mutants on the Cuban shore. Erik “Magneto” not only stops the missiles (self defense), but then wants to turn them around and destroy the ships that fired at them (VIOLENT self-defense baby!) Another thing that matches up perfectly is that, though King and Malcolm had different desires, they still respected one another, just as Xavier and Erik did (they teamed up, after all).

    Just on a side note, I’d like to mention what a CRAZY coincidence it is that this movie came out at this EXACT time. Not only have we been studying the Cuban missile crisis, the red scare, and all that stuff, but also civil rights movements by women and blacks. This movie has ALL of these themes, and I just have to say, it’s a little frightening. Dif you pick out the release date for the movie, Mr. Wickersham? And if not, can you say FATE??

  17. Eleanor Chalifoux

    1. The fact that he was part of the Holocaust really affected his outlook on the situation. He went through a lot when he was younger with the Nazis and his family dying so of course he had a lot of hate built up. Erik therefore wanted to help the minorities fight who were being persecuted.

    2. This is a movie so of course the women are going to be really attractive. Basically every movie does this to attract viewers. The women weren’t treated well in the movie and were discriminated against because of their sex. Mystique and Emma Frost aren’t treated well and all the women are portrayed as weak and dependent on the men.

    4. Persecution is definitely a recurring theme throughout history as well. The persecution and discrimination of Jews during the Holocaust, Communists during the Red Scare and minorities during the Civil Rights Movement are all examples of this. In X-Men this is seen with the persecution of the mutants. In society anything that is considered to be different is almost always considered bad and this should not be the case. It’s a disgrace to see all the violence and hate that has been built up around discrimination and this parallels to X-Men as well.

    5. Charles and Erik approach mutant discrimination in different ways in X-Men. These two paths they take parallel the two that MLK and Malcolm X took during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Charles takes a peaceful approach while still staying strong like MLK did. He wishes to create friendship among the two races by promoting unity. On the other hand, Erik wanted to take a more violent approach like Malcolm X because he experienced a lot of violence first hand and will fight for his rights through violence.

  18. Stephanie Dudek

    1. Erik used his experience in the holocaust to fuel his emotions and powers for most of the movie. His anger with the Nazi’s actions is and his experience in the concentration camps is what led him to realize what he is- mutant and Jew. He saw what happened when a group of people were targeted and almost obliterated and he didn’t want to see this happen again. He thought that the Nazis should have to pay for their actions and that the “humans” should have to pay for their actions against all mutants.
    3. All the leaders were men. With the CIA agent, Moira Taggart, her superiors didn’t believe her and didn’t care if they killed her because she was a woman. They were also sooner to disregard what she was doing and saying than they were with other male CIA agents. Shaw treated Emma Frost really bad. He would tell her she was amazing and the most beautiful creature he had ever seen but then would just order her around. Shaw didn’t care about her just using her powers for his cause. And then Raven was supposed to be James McAvoy’s best friend but she was never included in any decision making or training she was just sort of there.
    4. The mutant persecution can be a metaphor or Gay/Lesbian rights and the holocaust with the Jews or any genocide or targeting of a certain people. Also with the whole McCarthy nonsense of the 50s and 60s that they mentioned in First Class. But still the most important resemblance would be with muggle borns in Harry Potter and how they would have to register themselves and were hunted down by Death Eaters. You can basically substitute all of these for the mutants v. Humans.
    5. How Erik and Professor X handled to persecution on the mutants was very different. They both did what they felt was right and the ways they handled the situation was similar to how the Civil Rights movement was handled in real life. Martin Luther King Jr. advocated a very peaceful existence between African Americans and the government/whites. While he wouldn’t agree to hiding and not showing off who he was he didn’t want to harm the whites either. MLK was similar to Professor X. they wanted to work with the government to make everything equal peacefully. Erik didn’t think that mutants should have to hide, which they shouldn’t, but he thought that humans were to blame for the lack of acceptance for mutants. This attitude is similar to other African Americans and African American leaders during the Civil Rights Movement. To basically do anything it takes for their “kind” to not be discriminated against.

  19. Molly Sovran

    This is my very first X-men Movie, so don’t be afraid to correct me if I’m very far fetch from the real deal:

    1. I believe that the Holocaust played a huge role in Erik’s life. It was if he didn’t want history to repeat itself, so when Charles and Erik were talking, Erik said how the mutants would be gathered up and experimented on. The gathered mutants would then be forgotten. Erik could not let that happen to his people and put him self through that again, so he decided to take action.

    3. Sexism played a huge role in this movie. Emma Frost was mistreated to the nth degree. In the movie her character was able to handle it, but no woman, no matter how powerful, or amazing you are, there’s no way any woman would let that fly, for any reason at all. When the CIA woman was told she wasn’t worth anyone’s time because she was a woman, I about flipped. There is no way that is fair to say to anyone, yes it is a movie but I was about to chuck some popcorn or something. That to me was a major part of sexism in the movie because it really hit me personally. Although it made me made, I feel that historically it fit in, with the ERA, and women in the workplace situations.

    4. The mutant persecution was interesting. It outlined the ways of the people and the culture and chemistry in which forms between those people. The metaphor is: when people in our society don’t like something or fear it (in this case a society with too much power), the best thing to do is expose the fear and make a mockery of it to make ourselves look better then the bad thing. Like stars for a better example. We are jealous of them to an extent, so that’s why we care so much about who went to Starbucks with who, or who broke up with who in Hollywood. The worst is when we try to make a divorce, our business and act like we should have a say, because were so important. Everyone is different, and because of that every has a different mind set to tings. For Professor X, he let the lives of the Homosapien’s continue.

    5. I think that in the case of Xavier, it was much like Martin Luther King’s because he wanted to get rid of hate and create friendships amongst the humans and live as one. Just like Xavier when he wanted the humans to live peacefully as the mutants. He did this really by bringing out the good in everyone—even the mutants. Magneto and Malcolm X are also similar because there was more violence in their approach to find peace. They both showed that they were proud of who they are—despite the difference in measures they undertook to achieve their goals and to show others their ways. They realized that doing something in a peaceful manner, wont get you what you want, so you have to take action and fight for what you want.

  20. Declan Gibbons

    1) The holocaust definitely effected Erik’s approach towards dealing with discrimination. He’d already gone through one holocaust before, so it’s only natural that he feel threatened when another minority group to which he belongs is targeted.

    2) Multiple times. First of all, there was no big show down between the ships of the Soviets and the US. The Soviets got the missiles to Cuba before we even knew about it. Besides, something tells me that the high-ranking officers of the USSR and the US weren’t controlled by genetically altered super humans. And they hadn’t even mentioned Castro’s part in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    4) It could be a metaphor for almost any type of discrimination, but mainly it’s one for Civil rights, Women’s rights, and Gay rights.

    5) Well, Erik shows a resemblance to Malcolm X because of his violent approach, and Charles would be more like MLK because of his more peaceful way of dealing with discrimination.

  21. Evan Daykin

    2. Besides the moment i walked in the door, First class was full of historical inaccuracy. First of all, The presence of Jupiter missiles in turkey and italy was made very public from what I saw, and at the time it was much mor on the down-low in real life. second, every time Sebastian Shaw absorbed anything, let alone a nuclear reactor core, and released it all at once, all of the energy wuld be released according do e=mc2, making for some very, very large explosions from the most trivial objects. finally, the Mockingbird, an obvious representation of the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, did not have a bomb bay, a cabin beyond the cockpit (or windows for the aforementioned cabin), it could not hover, it could not cruise below 80,000ft, and its turn radius was in the neighborhood of 100 miles, not 100 feet, Not to mention the Blackbird did not enter active duty until 1966. the Naval “quarantine” was accurate, however, no shots were fired.
    3. First class had more than one instance of sexism. First, all of the females were much more easily enticed, and joined the “bad side by the movies end, the colonel (forgot his name) was “honeypotted” by scantily clad women and then backed into a corner by the mutants to get what they wanted. FIanlly, on the much more blatant side, the CIA brass just flat out said at the end of the movie “this is why the DoD is no place for a woman”.
    4. The mutant discrimination can symbolize society’s alienation of any”different” group of people, whether it be African Americans, Homosexuals, or to a somewhat lesser extent, people with actual mutations– TLC capitalizes on our fixation with people who look or act different (i.e. Little people shows/84,463 kids and counting).
    5. Erik’s mutant supremacist groups are obviously harking back to the more militant civil rights groups (Malcolm X, black panthers), while Chaz wanted a more peaceful, coexisting approach.The conflict between the two was much like the criticism of MLK in the mid to late 60s that if they were to remain peaceful, nothing would happen.

  22. david bellefleur

    1. I think the big deal with Erik and the holocaust was the rounding up. He figured that specifically on the beach, the humans were going to attack and kill them while rounding them up. This was also when he said the CIA could not find the mutants and they would one by one, so the governemtn did not have the capability to capture them. Another thing was the men under orders, he had launched back the missiles because of the similarity with the holocaust. He had been attacked by men under orders and he said never again would he let that happen and they were not truly innocent.

    3. The most obvious sexism was the end where they were talking about how women don’t belong in the CIA. Another was how whenever the women were shown, they were always in scandilous clothing. The women all half not clothed (it would not let me right rude with an N instead of R) at strip club, Raven walkin’ round naked, and the girl with wings was a stripper. All the women in the movie were at one point being like some prostitutes. I think this goes along with the 50s mentality of sexism.

    4. I think the mutants were a similarity of being different. It was not all racism, just like a point of telling kids that they were weird or abnormal, their not, their just different and its not a bad thing. The racism would come in as the whole society hating them. This goes along with the civil rights how when they open up as trying to be equals, their put down and attacked. Shaw was like Malcolm X, using violence, and the combination of magneto and Pro. X was MLK.

    5. They resemble MLK as a combination, but towards the end, Magneto is like Malcolm X. Its sort of ironic because Magneto becomes the person that shaw wanted him to. He uses wiolence and attacks the people that hate him because he is different. While proffessor X uses peaceful protest and helps the other mutants by educating them. This describes the to paths of aggression, and peaceful growth towards equality.

  23. Kaylee Brown

    1. I think Erik’s background with the holocaust was really significant in this movie. I think that because it gave him a lot of drive to stop both governments from destroying mutants. I sensed he had a lot of built up anger that kept him going. I think he sort of identified with the mutants too because he was poked and prodded as a child and for that he felt different.
    2. I definitely thought there was some sexism in this movie. The most blatantly obvious one to me was when they told one of the women that she was useless because of her gender. I absolutely think they were trying to appeal to men more than women with these movies.
    4. In my opinion the persecution of the mutant is a metaphor of a power struggle in any type of hierarchy from a high school to slavery. In high school, everyone like their power and once you have it you don’t want to lose it which sometimes causes bullies. In slavery white men didn’t want black men to take over because whites held the high ground at that point and they didn’t want to lose it.
    5. I think Charles represents MLK because he does not want to win something through violence and he believes in better ways. He wants to free everyone of hatred. I think he believed that everyone was good at heart where as Erik represents Malcolm X more because he wants to fight for the mutants rights rather than just make peace. I also think both Erik and Malcolm X had first hand reasons as to why they should be angry.


    1. When Erik was little, him and his parents were sent to a concentration camp. While entering the concentration camp, a mutant named Sebastian Shaw witnessed Erik move the metal gates with his mind and in attempt to get Erik to do it again, Shaw threatened his mother at gunpoint, telling Erik to move a metal coin or his mother dies. When Erik failed to move the coin, Shaw killed Erik’s mother, which led Erik on a quest for vengeance to defeat Shaw. He had so much rage and wanted to use it against him.
    2. Well, during the Cold War, mutants weren’t responsible for setting the soviets and Americans against each other.
    3. Charles always treated Raven like she was less of a person, whether it was to protect his little sister or that he thought she was incapable. Shaw treated Emma horribly most of the movie, making her do stupid, stereotypical women tasks like getting him ice for his drink. I don’t really think the fact that the women were good looking makes it sexist because let’s be real here, everyone is good looking in movies (Especially Alex Summers, just saying) unless they’re supposed to be ugly.
    4. The racism in America is targeted at minorities, and in the movie, the mutants were the minority. Putting aside Shaw and his group, mutants were just peaceful people who wanted to blend in. I guess Hollywood likes using blue people as a metaphor for the minorities in the world. In the earlier X Men movies, guys like William Striker could be considered McCarthy like, taking out all the threatening communists or in this case, mutants.
    5. Erik, like Malcolm X, wanted to fight and show superiority. He didn’t want to live with the humans, he didn’t wanted to mix in. Charles wanted to do everything diplomatically the MLK, showing that they were peaceful and just wanted to live peacefully among the humans.

  25. Rachel Goldstein

    1. Erik’s Holocaust experience gave him a stronger drive to protect mutants and a greater suspicion of governments than any of the other character. The holocaust left Erik with emotional scars he carried for the rest of his life. He couldn’t forget the horrors he witnessed and experienced, and didn’t want anyone else to have to go through that. One part of the beach scene really stuck out to me; before Erik turned the missiles being fired at them back at the Russian and American fleets, he said “Never again” (a phrase used by primarily Jewish people both working to prevent genocide and remembering the Holocaust that originated after the Holocaust).

    3. I feel that most of the sexism in the movie was in what the female characters wore (short skirts, stripper outfits, nothing at all…). Women, especially Emma Frost, were also often seen as sex objects, especially in the scene where she used her psychic powers to trick the Russian guy.

    4. People are always afraid of the different, things that they can’t understand. The discrimination against mutants in all of the X-Men movies and comics represents that fear of the unknown that leads to discrimination, hate crimes, and genocide.

    5. Erik’s path is more similar to that of the Black Panthers and other civil rights groups who were not only unafraid to use violence, but actually encouraged it. Charles’ path was more similar to that of Martian Luther King Jr. and other nonviolent groups. Charles had a more optimistic view of human nature. He believed that they (the mutants) would be accepted by society, especially if they prevented World War 3. Erik had the more dim, and unfortunately more realistic, view of human nature. He knew that it didn’t matter what they did, regular humans would never accept the mutants.

  26. Elizabeth Benedetti

    1. Erik having lived through the Holocaust and watching his mother get shot had to give him motivation to fight to kill the man that killed his mother and to fight against the governments from destroying mutants. If Erik had not lived through what he had lived through he probably wouldn’t have been so motivated to fight.
    3. There was quite a bit of sexism in the movie. Moria MacTaggart seemed to be given a harder time as she was a women working in the CIA. This is shown especially during the last scene of the movie were Charlie had erased her mind and she was explaining to her coworkers/boss that she couldn’t remember anything except for glimpses of trees and the kiss and the head guy made a comment saying that that was why women should not be in the CIA. Emma Frost also used her body to get attention and information from the Soviets and the Americans. The other two women in the movie, Angel and Raven, seemed to be treated a bit differently because they were girls. The boys seemed to be more careful when training around them and Angel made a comment about the way men looked at her compared to when they knew she was a mutant to when she was just a woman.
    4. The discrimination of mutants in the movie could be a metaphor to a lot of things in today’s society. Overall I think it shows how if there is anything or anyone different that doesn’t fit exactly the way we see it into society we are against them.
    5. Erik and Charles’ had two very different ways of tackling mutant discrimination much like the two different ways people fought against discrimination during the Civil Rights Movement. Erik was more for fighting against humans and taking the world for mutants. There were some people like that during the Civil Rights Movement like Malcolm X. Charles wanted equality for mutants and to work side by side with humans and not have to fight them. He was more of the Martin Luther King Jr. for mutants.

  27. Cierra McPherson

    Mr. Wickersam, it’s funny that you said that (#4) My mother and I were talking about that when we saw the movie, of how quickly Darwin left considering his amazing abilities that he had as a mutant. Oh and Angel, played by Zoe Kravitz. Her powers or whatever you call it sucked. They could have came up with something better than housefly wings and acidic saliva, also why she did she have to leave and go over to Magneto’s side so quickly her character was also kind of shy from the screen too, but nonetheless it wasn’t really much of a big surprise that was going to happen
    Anyways to the questions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    1. How did Erik’s Holocaust figure into his quest to stop both the Soviet and American governments from destroying mutants? Explain.
    He didn’t want to fight against nations, and I guess what happened in the Holocaust, Soviet and American wanted to get rid of the mutants- so kind of like human race against the mutants, so basically exterminate them.
    2. What role did sexism play in the movie, both intentional and unintentional (maybe unintended by the filmmakers)? Use examples with Emma Frost, Moira MacTaggart, Angel and Raven.
    Sexism played a major role in the movie, rather it was intentional or unintentional it still happened. I feel that the female characters were always assisting men they were never the ones in lead, being in charge of a certain situation. I feel Emma Frost character was intentional. Her mutation also allowed her to seduce man especially the kernel guy. I think her role was very stereotypical. Also I’m not sure if this would count as an example but maybe the way Charles treated Raven. It seemed that in a way he ignored her and probably didn’t care too much about mutant women. Also I don’t this idea really works but my mother said that perhaps when Alex Summers (Havok) was practicing on his discharge of blast targeting, that it was weird or ironic to have a young man to practice on female mannequins in order for him to work on his targeting. I don’t that could work but yeah….
    3. The mutant persecution has been a recurring theme throughout the X-Men series, both the films and comics. What could this discrimination be a metaphor in our society?
    That people who are different would be ostracized and alienated.
    5. How do Erik and Charles’ different paths at tackling mutant discrimination resemble the two paths of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s? “I’m mutant, and I’m proud.” Explain.
    Well with the Black Panther movement I guess with the defense of African American chanting “I’m black and I’m proud” (also from JamesB) also with MLK and Malcolm X felt in one point in his life, that white race i.e. the human race wasn’t trying to do anything good for black people i.e. mutants. MLK wanted equal rights and to assimilate in white society, and try to work it out “we should overcome”. So I think Charles is MLK and Erik would be the Ma

  28. Katie Donnellon

    1. When Erik was a kid and his mother was killed because he couldn’t move the coin, he knew that that wouldn’t have happened if the Nazis never took his mother in the first place. The Jewish people were different and so many died for that reason alone. The mutants are different from regular people everywhere and he wanted to prevent them from destroying mutants because he has already experienced what people getting killed for being different is like, and he also knows what war can do to people.
    3. Emma Frost was always at the mercy of Shaw. There was one time when she was trying to talk to him but he just blew her off and told her to go and get him some ice. Then when she wanted to go back the CIA building he told her that she had to go to Russia and seduce the General. Then when the mutants are on the beach the professor told raven that she couldn’t go to help Magnito she had to stay and just make sure that no one came into their airplane. Angel was depicted as a follower who didn’t want to stand up for herself when she went over to Magnito’s side.
    4. The holocaust is one thing that it could be a metaphor. People being killed just because of what they look like and their religion. It could also be a metaphor for racism within our society, especially during the time that this was set, back in the 50’s. When southern white people didn’t want anything to do with black people. Also, the professor wanted mutants to be able to co-exist with regular people, and raven just wanted to be excepted for everything that she was just like black people did during the civil rights movement. I think that it also could be a metaphor for gay people today. They have a hard time fitting into our society but the movie stresses that you should be proud of who you are and what you have to offer.
    5. Erik wants to rule the world with mutants and wants to get rid of people who are normal. This is kind of like Malcom X because he just wanted to get rid of white people. The Charles would be like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. because he wants to coexist with the regular people and to not be violent. “I’m mutant and I’m proud” would be like Malcom X because he wanted people to embrace that they were different just like Erik was trying to convince Raven that it was okay to be her normal blue self. Whereas Charles and Martin Luther King wanted everyone to feel equal, and no body to be superior.

  29. Samuel Kepes

    1.I think Erik’s experience with the Holocaust had a huge effect on his quest to stop the governments from destroying the world. He had experienced many horrid things, most likely as a boy/teen. Throughout the whole movie, all he wants to do is kill Shaw. Because he lived through the holocaust, he probably see’s the evil that can come from humans. So while hunting Shaw, he also decides that humans will never stop hunting them once they find out about them.

    2.Aside from the obvious changes in mutation the first major thing that I was like, hold on a second….., was when we were introduced to untransformed beast saying that he invented the Black Bird. The plane was actually designed mainly by a guy named Clarence “Kelly” Johnson in the 1960’s, working for Lockheed Martin, and not the government. Also the plane flies at around 85000.0 Ft, and the operational speed is Mach 3.2+ (over 2200.00 mph). This means there is no way the plane would do something like fly through a fleet of ships, and be able to do things like barrel rolls really quickly.

    4. I think the persecution of the mutants is a creative way, by the directors, of showing the racial inequalities in our world. A major thing in this movie was the holocaust and how it affected Erik. In recent history this may be the most obvious example of persecution for differences. The movie does a good job of showing it. Though it is never seen directly in the movie, another thing that is happening at the same time is the civil rights movements. The only example is the different ways that Erik and X handled the attack on them at the beach.

    5. The two paths taken by Charles and Erik are exactly like the paths Dr. King and Malcolm X took. Though they both respect each other, Charles is a lot like Dr. King. He wants to show the world that mutants are a good thing, and he also loves normal people to much too just kill them. This is the opposite with Erik. He has seen the things humanity is capable of in the holocaust, and he would rather just kill them all. This is similar to Malcolm X’s philosophy that the blacks couldn’t live with whites, and the only way there would be change is through violence.

  30. Emily Kakos

    Okay so I don’t really understand this first question because it’s kind of worded weird but I’m just going to go with what I think it means. Erik being in the Holocaust affected his trying to stop the Soviets and Americans from destroying the mutants because his experience in the war made him really bitter about humans. He gets really mad about the following orders thing because that was the excuse that Shaw used to justify his actions. Basically all of Erik’s decisions revolved around getting revenge on the people who were cruel to him all because he had special gifts. In the end he just summed that up as all humans because it was both the Americans and the soviets who wanted to kill the mutants on the island. I mean the whole thing was fiction I thought. I barely noticed that it was talking about the Cuban Missile crisis; I was too caught up in the action and the hot guys. The real fiction-y thing was how the all the missiles ended up in the various places, like Turkey and whatever. The movie made it seem like Shaw single handedly caused the whole thing by threatening both the American and Soviet side at the same time! I loved that the clips they had of Kennedy speaking were real. I think they were anyway, they seemed very realistic. The whole movie was sexist. Charles doesn’t let Mystique come fight with him and Erik and instead leaves her to watch the new mutants which was so annoying of him because mystique has the coolest power BY FAR. Also with Moira, the government officials never wanted to listen to her and she was obviously correct in everything she said. I just felt really bad for Angel. I knew right away when I met her that she was going to turn to the bad side and of course they made her the whore who just wants to feel appreciated and respected or whatever. Filmmakers always make the fairies the whores which is sooooo annoying. I love the fairies. Our whole society is full of discrimination to people who are different than them. If you aren’t “normal” than people fear and persecute you, it’s been happening from the beginning of time! One example would be the Christians and Jews who were killed and whatever for believing in something that wasn’t the “norm” at the time.
    I love the X-Men

  31. Sarah Szekely

    1)Eric’s Holocaust experience was essentially his drive and the motivation for the rest of his life. Going through what he did and living through his emotional scars after seeing his mother killed, drove him forward to really lash out against the government to protect mutants like himself from being completely destroyed.
    3)Sexism had a role in this movie. The creators, of course, had to appeal to the male fan base, so what better way than to out scantily clad women? With little to no clothing on, not to mention Emma Frost intentionally using her body to get what she wants, really portrays the women in this film as strict sex objects. I rarely saw a very strong, grounded female character. I only occasionally saw It in Raven and the CIA agents but they too were pulled into the sexist outlook at some point.
    4)This could stand for any type of discrimination In our society. Racial discrimination, sexuality discrimination, religious discrimination, anything. The way that the mutants had to hide who they are to be accepted or being outcastes and called freaks or gross or disgusting could apply to a lot of things.
    5)Erik’s path was more violent and a lets strike back attitude and rule the world because we are better than you type of path has a striking resemblance to Malcom X’s attitude in the 60s and the way that MLK held himself in a non-violent peaceful almost incognito way really was reflected by Charles’ peaceful but resilient and defensive method he chose to take with the mutants.

  32. Alex Cooper

    1. When Erik was young, he witnessed his mother being killed by nazis. After years, he wanted to search for any previous nazis so that he could get his revenge on them. Since the muntants being destroyed was similar to the nazis attacking all of the jews, he wanted to protect the muntants. When Erik killed Shaw he made sure to leave him in alot of pain and suffering so that he could get what he deserved.
    3. I think there was alot of sexism in this movie. Emma was treated horribly by Shaw. There was a time when it was said that the CIA is no place for women, which is extremely sexist in the way that women can’t do what men do. Also women were portrayed as the weaker ones usually because they were the ones that were usually defeated.
    4. This could be a metaphor for any minority group anywhere on the earth. They either wanted to be accepted, or had a power struggle and wanted to rule. But this could apply to any minorities in our time now that have been treated poorly at any time.
    5. I think that Charles was more like MLK in the sense that he just wanted peace, and didn’t want to create more violence in order to make something peaceful. Erik on the other hand, was like Malcom X where he wanted to be violent and fight for the muntants rights by any means possible, even if it meant that he had to fight and take over and show that he was more powerful.

  33. Denny Walsh

    1. Erik’s holocaust figured into his quest to stop the elimination of the mutants because he was already discriminated against once for being Jewish and now he was again for being a mutant. He didn’t want to happen to the mutants what had happened to the Jews.
    2. There weren’t many times that I noticed the movie deviate from history too much, but that might just be because I don’t know that much about history. I did notice, however, that although the Nazis did have many strange programs going on during World War 2 I’m fairly certain that they were not training mutants. It also didn’t seem right that both the soviets and the Americans were that trigger happy on the brink of World War 3. It seemed as though waiting at the Cuban border to start nuclear war was a little unrealistic.
    3. Sexism was evident throughout this entire movie. There were several scenes in which women were needlessly lacking clothing. Angel is probably the most obvious example seeing as she was a stripper before being found by Charles and Erik.
    4. The mutant discrimination could be a metaphor for discrimination against African Americans in our own society.

  34. Erick Dagenais

    1. The driving force behind Erik trying to stop both the Soviet Union and United States from destroying mutants goes back to what had happened during the Holocaust. His primary goal was to kill Shaw to avenge his mother. This was all he wanted to do: he disobeyed his allies and even turned the tide of the battle from being between the Soviet Union and the United States to between humans and mutants. Once he killed Shaw, like Charles said, he was never satisfied, he ended up wanting to lead the same task Shaw wanted to accomplish.

    3. I thought that there were many cases of sexism in the movie. The most obvious one was when the CIA woman was told that she was wasn’t worth anyone’s time because she was a woman. Another example was that most of the main characters and the most important ones were males. I thought that the CIA woman was going to end up being a main character, but after a while she almost virtually disappeared from the movie.

    4. The mutant persecution could be applied to many problems in our society. It reflects most people’s way of thinking that if something isn’t normal, then it is lesser than them. It could be applied to the racism against African-Americans in the past, how the white population discriminated against them and even segregated races so that the black population didn’t have the same rights as whites.

    5. Erik was more of the Malcolm X type of protester. Since the beginning of the movie, Erik has always been trying to resolve everything using violence. He was trying to kill Shaw the whole time. Charles is more of the MLK type of protester. He tried to solve everything peacefully. He tried strategizing everything to try to accomplish his goal while take the least lives possible, and would spare anyone’s life if it was possible.

  35. Andrew Hausman

    1. Due to his experiences from the Holocaust, Erik might have always felt that someone was out to get him. From his youth, he had seen evil in the world, and possibly believed that the entire world was like this. On the other hand, Charles Xavier and his privileged upbringing caused him to view the world in a more positive light. Regardless, Erik wants to the mutants to seize power in the world. He thinks that the American and Soviet governments will kill the X-Men if they get the opportunity, in order to maintain the power. Erik believes that Charles is presenting the governments the opportunity to destroy mutants by working with the government.
    2. The movie began to deviate from history when there was an embargo line that was set as the trigger for a nuclear war, as opposed to an actual nuclear attack. Tensions did not rise to a peak until the U.S. discovered Soviet nuclear warheads in Cuba. The United States did also not set a quarantine line until after the missiles were found by a reconnaissance flight over Cuba by a U-2 spy plane. I also noticed how it would not be intelligent to transport assembled nuclear missiles on the deck of a ship, as it appeared the Soviet transport ship was. As you mentioned, other historical inaccuracies include the lack of appearances by United States President John F. Kennedy, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and especially Cuban dictator Fidel Castro or even any member of the Cuban government.
    3. Sexism plays a major role in the film. The most obvious example is when a CIA agent says, “This is why there shouldn’t be women in the CIA,” when referring to Dr. Moira MacTaggart. Other women are suppressed to a lower status, seemingly due to gender discrimination. Sebastian Shaw makes Emma Frost do simple tasks for him, such as fetching ice, lowering women to a menial role. Angel is shown working at a club, symbolic of the sexual exploitation of women.
    4. Mutant persecution of the X-Men occurs simply because of their special abilities, which makes them different than others and threats to those who are in established power. Unfortunately, persecution of those who a different is a very common occurrence in our society. The government felt that their authority was being threatened, so they wanted to destroy the source of the challenge. In an unfortunate part of American history, minorities have been always suppressed, from African-Americans to immigrants to Catholics to gays. These groups have needed to struggle for their rights while facing great hatred and opposition from a more powerful group, a very similar experience to the one that the X-Men experience.
    5. The alternate philosophies of Erik and Charles are very similar to the different approaches that Civil Rights leaders Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had during the 1960s. Malcolm X and Erik choose to fight against the established power, while Dr. Martin Luther King and Charles took the pacifist approach.

  36. Ophelie Ovize

    1. The holocaust for sure triggered Erik is his quest to stop both the soviet and American from destroying mutants. Erik was blinded by vengeance and rage because of the death of his mother. In his childhood he had seen too much horror and by preventing the two countries to destroy each other he was saving thousands of lives.
    2. I think the movie deviated from history a few times. But its normal considering its not a history movie but a superhero one. It deviated to fiction when Erik and Xavier are looking for more mutants. It got back when the former nazi villain plans out his plan to set the missiles. It got back to fiction when the characters face personal situation, for example Mystique’s self-esteem issues. It switches once more to fiction when Erik faces his past with her mothers assassin. From then on, the plot was purely fiction.
    3. I think this is a good question, because I also noticed a bit of sexism. The women are treated like some sort of trophy that each villain has with them. Emma Frost is with the nazi at all times. She is used for a seduction plan with a man from the Soviet Union. Angel was well accepted in the group but she goes to the bad side because he promises her a good life. Raven had a personal acceptance issue but that wasn’t the sexism. I thought the sexism was found when at the battle near the end, Xavier doesn’t want to send her. Was it because she wasn’t strong enough? Or because he cared too much for her to get hurt ? Overall I felt like the image of women in this was not strong. They were represented like followers and insecure.
    4. The mutant persecution represents our society because in most cases when someone is different, that person usually goes through phase of nonacceptance. At least till the others realize who they really are. I think in this movie it ties back to the holocaust.

  37. Riley Landgraf 5th Hour

    First off I would like to say this movie was GREAT and it definitaly deserves to stand up with the other X Men movies.

    1. Erik’s holocaust paralleled what he thought would happen to mutants if the government got a hold of them. In the holocaust, Jewish people were rounded up, some were killed off and others went to work. In Erik’s mind the mutants would be rounded up by the government just like the Jews were, some uncooperative ones would be killed and the others would work for the army probably. He then would be reliving his childhood basically. The governments would be destroying mutants just like the Nazi’s destroyed Jewish people.

    a. Emma Frost – In the movie, as Shaw’s right hand girl, she followed and obeyed anything he did or said. For example when they were in the submarine, Shaw told her to get him a drink, she did, then he requested ice in a very rude way, she got him ice off of the iceberg. This resembles the housewife of the 50’s and 60’s because the women would stay at home and treat their husbands like kings. For example, the husband would come home to dinner and a martini.
    b. Moira MacTaggart – I noticed she was the only woman working in the CIA which was typical of that time because mostly the police departments were only men. This I think was unintentional because the police departments are still seen today as a man’s job.
    c. Angel – She was not really discriminated (if you can call it that) against from what I saw. The only thing was she was portrayed as pretty weak which some people would classify women as. Also, her job was as stripper serving to a man…
    d. Raven – She was portrayed as a classic teenager I would call it. She was self conscious, wanted to fall in love and didn’t want to follow Charles around anymore. She wanted to lash out and become herself but was held back by Charles. This parallel’s what the women were like when they had traditional husbands who wouldn’t allow them to work.
    4. The mutant persecution could be a metaphor for the persecution of minority races in the sixties. For example, in the sixties minority races like blacks were pestered, made fun of and were reacted to badly (people were very sensitive towards them). This could be paralleled at a point in the film when all of the new recruits were sitting in their (hang out) room and the CIA agents came by and mocked them.
    5. I think Erik has a more violent approach to solving the discrimination like Malcom X in real life. They both took the stance that people need to learn to accept them no matter what their differences are and if they don’t then they should be forced to. I think this stance was taken because both Malcolm and Erik had hard times with the opposite race when they were younger and have built up anger. MLK and Charles have similar stances also with the fact that they want to be accepted. However, they take a more peaceful approach and want America to learn that they are good people and equal people and then accept them.

  38. Patrice bell

    1.I think Erik’s holocaust background figured into his quest because it was his motivation. Without it, they could have given him a different storyline still including shaw killing his mom, but the holocaust added more intrigue and also more historical background. It gave him something to truly be pissed about.
    3. There was a quite a bit of sexism in this movie. Starting with Emma Frost and Shaw, he treated her terribly and she couldn’t do anything about it because she was pretty much there to be pretty. Raven dealt with the problem of looking like a respectable woman. Being a woman, she was already at a disadvantage in regards to the time period. But being a mutant did nothing but push her further back. And with Moira, being the only female in all of the boardroom meetings, and even being told that the CIA was no place for a woman.
    4. I think the persecution of the mutants could be linked to Erik’s holocaust background. Where the point is to find and remove people who are different, in hopes of defeating any threat. I think this could also relate to the removal of supposed communique from America and even the civil rights movement.
    5. I think it is very clear that Erik represents Malcolm X and Charles represents MLK. I think Erik represents Malcolm X because of the violent approach to being socially accepted. They both wanted to fight for what they thought was right. Charles, in the other hand, took on a nonviolent approach, much like MLK. He wanted what was right, but he didn’t think violence was the way to go.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *