The Modern Tragic Hero: How Alan Turing Fits The Description

The Modern Tragic Hero: How Alan Turing Fits The Description

Throughout history, people's ideas continue to thrive, and the trend can be clearly seen through language and arts.


"The Imitation Game" embodies the biography of Alan Turing, a legendary cryptanalyst who cracked the Enigma code, and important segments of world history in the late 1930's to the early 1950 's during World War II. In an attempt to decode secret German messages, a team of code-breakers at Britain's top-secret Government Code and Cypher School, work together through thick and thin to crack the Enigma code.

The film shows Turing in his childhood, from bullying to his first love, where his fatal flaw, homosexuality, is revealed. Turing works alone to build a device that would speed up the process of the coding, but his colleagues blame him for not contributing to the team effort. Over time, Turing begins to work and interact better with his colleagues with the help of Joan Clarke, the only young woman recruited into their team who eventually becomes Turing's fiance.

In the midst of these events, Turing is called in for interrogation because he is accused of being a Soviet Union spy and as someone who is hiding something (homosexuality). At the engagement party, Turing has an epiphany that cracks the enigma code, but then they face the burden of deciding who gets to live and die in the war. They have to keep it as a secret, otherwise, all the work that has been done would have been for nothing. Turing eventually reveals that he is homosexual to Joan in order to protect her and claims that he only proposed to her so he could use her to crack the code. Months later, he was sentenced for indecency. Turing explains to Joan in a visit that he needs to take "treatment" in order to stay out of prison, and a year later, he commits suicide at the age of 41.

As the world continues to develop, new innovations pass from person to person, and with people there comes perception. Throughout history, people's ideas continue to thrive, and the trend can be clearly seen through language and arts. From ancient plays to modern books, not only do the stories build upon one another, ancient characters become modern-day people, meaning that the characters emerge from pages onto the real world. Even though they are still seen between pages, they are brought to life in a new light. Because people have changed so much from the stone ages to the Shakespearean period, and all the way to modern day, their perception of a "tragic hero" has definitely changed and the use of the label has gone from entertainment to defining people present all around the world. In the ancient Roman period, Aristotle defines a tragic hero as "a man of noble stature… not an ordinary man, but one with outstanding qualities and greatness who brings his own destruction for the greater cause or principle and can only be considered a tragic hero if he can see the root of his downfall."

Modern-day tragic heroes are shown as far more vulnerable and human as seen through the "Imitation Game" compared to plays like "Oedipus the King," and even "Julius Caesar" where they include such things that can predict the future and include the supernatural whereas in the "Imitation Game," it is solely based on the real world and the real world has limitations, no one can predict the future and no supernatural force is visible. This is due to fit the particular interests of people. What the ancient times defined as a tragic hero is not necessarily what modern people perceive what a tragic hero truly is. No one knows who is born into nobility. Nobility not only means belonging to a high class but also showing better personal quality or high moral principles and ideas.

Now in present day, nobility is not just a label freely put onto people, it is something that is earned. Even though plays, movies, and books follow the formula of what makes a tragic hero, there are more complex qualities added into characters in order to grasp the audience of today like how Alan Turing is a homosexual and not only arrogant and his hubris is not the only quality that brings his downfall in the "Imitation Game." Anyone can be considered a tragic hero, not all of them are born in such nobility and not all of them can realize their flaws before their ultimate downfall. What created a tragic hero in the real world does not have to follow an old definition, but a new one to fit modern perception.

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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.

Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

SEE ALSO: 23 Iconic Disney Channel Moments We Will Never Forget

3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Best 2000's Tunes We Still Know Every Word To

30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

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My AP Environmental Science Class' Cookie Mining Experiment Shows Why Capitalism Is Destroying The Planet

Who cares about the environment with profits this high?


With the AP exams in May approaching quickly, my AP Environmental Science class has wasted no time in jumping right into labs. To demonstrate the damage to the environment done by strip mining, we were instructed to remove the chocolate chips from cookies.

The experiment in itself was rather simple. We profited from fully or partially extracted chips ($8 for a full piece and $4 for a partial) and lost from buying tools, using time and area and incurring fines.

This might seem simplistic, but it showcased the nature of disastrous fossil fuel companies.

We were fined a $1 per minute we spent mining. It cost $4 per tool we bought (either tweezers or paper clips) and 50 cents for every square centimeter of cookie we mined.

Despite the seemingly overbearing charges compared to the sole way to profit, it was actually really easy to profit.

If we found even a partial chocolate chip per minute, that's $3 profit or utilization elsewhere. Tools were an investment that could be made up each with a partial chip, and clearly we were able to find much, much more than just one partial chip per tool.

Perhaps the most disproportionally easiest thing to get around were the fines. We were liable to be fined for habitat destruction, dangerous mining conditions with faulty tools, clutter, mess and noise level. No one in the class got fined for noise level nor faulty tools, but we got hit with habitat destruction and clutter, both of which added up to a mere $6.

We managed to avoid higher fines by deceiving our teacher by pushing together the broken cookie landscapes and swiping away the majority of our mess before being examined for fining purposes. This was amidst all of our cookies being broken into at least three portions.

After finding many, many chips, despite the costs of mining, we profited over $100. We earned a Franklin for destroying our sugary environment.

We weren't even the worst group.

It was kind of funny the situations other groups simulated to their cookies. We were meant to represent strip mining, but one group decided to represent mountaintop removal. Mountaintop removal is where companies go to extract resources from the tops of mountains via explosions to literally blow the tops off. This group did this by literally pulverizing their cookies to bits and pieces with their fists.

They incurred the maximum fine of $45. They didn't profit $100, however.

They profited over $500 dollars.

In the context of our environmental science class, these situations were anywhere from funny to satisfying. In the context of the real world, however, the consequences are devastating our environment.

Without even mentioning the current trajectory we're on approaching a near irreversible global temperature increase even if we took drastic measures this moment, mining and fracking is literally destroying ecosystems.

We think of earthquakes as creating mass amounts of sudden movement and unholy deep trenches as they fracture our crust. With dangerous mining habits, we do this ourselves.

Bigger companies not even related to mining end up destroying the planet and even hundreds of thousands of lives. ExxonMobil, BP? Still thriving in business after serial oil spills over the course of their operation. Purdue Pharma, the company who has misled the medical community for decades about the effects of OxyContin and its potential for abuse, is still running and ruining multitudes more lives every single day.

Did these companies receive fines? Yes.

But their business model is too profitable to make the fines have just about any effect upon their operation.

In our cookie mining simulation, we found that completely obliterating the landscape was much more profitable than being careful and walking on eggshells around the laws. Large, too-big-to-fail companies have held the future of our planet in their greedy paws and have likewise pulverized our environment, soon enough to be unable to return from.

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