Apples to Oranges

– Kyle Osborne


While comparison of characters is a common exercise in the English classroom, I found my attempts to compare King of Kong to LoTR quite strange. Honestly, I can’t say that I’ve ever compared real world arcade titans to fictional fantasy characters. I found it strange to compare two things that I had considered so different. Of course after the initial shock of comparing a sword to a joystick and the dark lord Sauron to a digital ape, I found that some undeniable similarities show up in the characters of these two seemingly opposite works of seemingly opposite media.

As I thought and analyzed (more like pondered as I went to sleep), I realized that Billy was tough to find a suitable companion for comparison. Maybe if I had really disliked Billy I could have easily said that Billy was like Sauron, because he was the champ, he had wide influence, and HE’S EVIL! Unfortunately, I didn’t have that point of view so my task became more difficult. I started looking for a character who I believed to be good, but possibly miss-represented or overly criticized. I landed on Boromir. Yeah, he tried to take the ring from Frodo, but he was a strong and noble character who was corrupted by a desire to protect his people. Wasn’t the ring supposed to corrupt people anyway? So, he couldn’t help it. Being forced into something evil doesn’t make you evil does it? It’s similar to Billy’s predicament. Since he is the rival of the movie’s main character, he is presented as manipulative, cruel, and unfair, whether or not it is the truth. Although Boromir isn’t a perfect match for Billy’s character, I feel that they were both presented in a similarly negative fashion, which causes them to be interpreted by an audience in similar manners.

Steve, on the other hand, I was able to immediately place. It seemed that everything about him pointed to Faramir. Maybe that’s cheating, but I can’t help it. Steve is quiet and almost refuses to stand up for himself. Faramir endures endless abuse from his father for not being like his brother, and both Faramir and Steve suffer from an inferiority complex that pushes them to prove that they are the best and worthy of those around them. These shared characteristics make these characters almost painful to watch as each tries to prove himself on his own field of battle.


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