Iron Man Character Analysis

1 January 2017

Tony Stark’s Character Growth in Iron Man In the beginning of Iron Man, the main protagonist, Tony Stark, was generally a bad person. He was an extreme example of the celebrity stereotype– flashy, arrogant, self-absorbed, and rude. Stark took personal honors, as well as relationships with others, for granted. But that all changed when Stark was kidnapped by a terroristic rebel group. During his time as a prisoner, Tony saw what horrors his technology could be used for, and later escaped captivity humbled and changed.

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From the moment he returned, Stark’s character started growing into a caring and heroic figure. Specifically, Tony Stark emerged as a new man, actually caring for his assistant, Pepper Pots, being concerned about what his technology is used for, and becoming Iron Man to save others. In the beginning of the film, it became apparent that Pepper Pots did quite a lot for Tony. She was his manager after all. Although, portraying his original shallow character, Stark didn’t ever really seem grateful to her for what she did for him, and would just rattle off tasks for her to do.

At one point, he even forgot Pepper’s birthday, saying, “It’s your birthday?… Well, get yourself something nice for me”. (Iron Man) This quote truly shows the disregard that Stark had for his assistant, and the disconnect between the two. Fast forward to after Tony’s capture, and while attending one of his social functions, Stark danced with Pepper for quite a while, making meaningful conversation. The two even almost kissed. lThroughout the movie, Tony’s caring grew for Pepper, with him saving her from Obadiah Stane, the eventual villain of the movie.

At one point, when Pepper told Tony that he is all she has, Tony replied with, “You’re all I have too”. (Iron Man) At the conclusion of the movie, the stage was set for the beginning of Tony and Pepper’s relationship, which was truly a 180 degree turn from where the two began the movie. Another such change was when Stark started caring where his shipments of weapons went. At the start of Iron Man, Stark Industries weaponry was distributed all over the globe with little, if any, concern to where it ended up.

Oftentimes these extremely powerful weapons ended up in the wrong hands, like insurgents. When Tony’s convoy was attacked, a rocket lodged into the ground in front of him, bearing the inscription of Tony’s own corporation. Upon his return, having seen the horrors of his weaponry firsthand, Stark set out to right the wrongs. At his first press conference after coming home, Tony said, “I saw young Americans killed by the very weapons I created to defend them and protect them.

And I saw that I had become part of a system that is comfortable with zero-accountability”. Iron Man) He then proceeded to shut down the weaponry arm of Stark Industries. These actions are the sign of a changed man. Tony Stark went from war profiteering to whistleblowing for corrupt arms dealing. Finally, Tony Stark’s most obvious change was simply in becoming a superhero. From the start of the movie, Stark was a rich, self-interested playboy who would be more concerned over a scratch on the finish of his Audi R8 than the fate of the free world unless it benefitted him.

Taking a completely different direction, Tony used his Iron Man suit to pursue those who wrongfully used Stark Industries weapons. Stark even stated, “I shouldn’t be alive… unless it was for a reason. I’m not crazy, Pepper. I just finally know what I have to do. And I know in my heart that it’s right”. (Iron Man) This quote was referencing his decision to pursue justice against those who were previously mentioned. It was amazing to see Tony Stark go from some disinterested rich guy to a full-blown superhero, dealing justice through his high tech suit of armor.

In the ways of turning around one’s life, Tony Stark may have been one of the most extreme examples in cinema. He went from a callous, self-absorbed playboy to an absolute comic book hero. On the way to becoming such a hero, Stark gained quite an appreciation for his assistant, Pepper Pots, righted wrongs that his weapons caused, and became a hero for the oppressed. That was quite a turn around, Tony.

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