Tony Stark as Iron Man: a Character Analysis

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Words: 1057 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Apr 11, 2019

Words: 1057|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Apr 11, 2019

Iron Man is a story about a character named Tony Stark, who has everything but has nothing. Tony Stark, a MIT graduate who is now one of the richest of the world finds himself in a life or death situation when he is abducted and told to create his weapons for terrorists to be able to use them against the US. Tony Stark being the presumptuous man he is, decides to build an armored suit that will help him escape and return back home. Before Tony is put in this life or death situation, he is beyond cocky and uses his heart for all the wrong reasons, but after meeting a man who saves his life he is told to not waste his life. Returning home, Tony realizes his weapons are very harmful and he doesn’t want to continue making them but wants to rebuild and improve his armor suit to become Iron Man. Tony Stark, a man with everything has nothing because he has no heart.

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Romantics and Rationalists see the world differently. According to our textbook notes, rationalists see the city (corporate world) as a place where there is nothing but opportunity. Romanticism doesn’t exist in the world of a Rationalist because it is all about the money. In the beginning of the movie, Tony is very rational and does everything that will (only) benefit his company. He is very carefree in the beginning as he travels with the soldiers, by distracting them. Although he is very intelligent, as he graduated at seventeen years old and became CEO of Stark Industries by time he was 21, he doesn’t have common sense to know when to be serious in solemn situations. He doesn’t take his life as serious as he should. This is shown when he doesn’t accept an award because he is at the casino betting three million dollars. This also goes to show he doesn’t use his heart because he doesn’t even have the decency to show up to accept and thank the people for his award. One rational quality about Tony that makes him strong is that he is a rebel. If it wasn’t for his rebellious ways, he probably wouldn’t have survived being held captive for three months.

Tony doesn’t act as a romantic until after he learns that his weapons are endangering the country that he is trying to protect. Tony is afraid of love and this is shown throughout the movie by the way he treats the women who fall for him and the relationship he has with his assistant. When it is her birthday, he doesn’t remember and when she reminds him he doesn’t wish her a happy birthday but suggest she treat herself something nice from him. He hides his emotion behind alcohol and blowing through his money. He purchases things that he doesn’t need nor want, but just so that he can say he bought it. Tony is very cocky as he states that he is “always right” and “Sometimes you have to run before you can walk.” which is very rational. Tony is always doing what he thinks is right instead of what he feels is right, which put him in a situation of being held captive. Tony becomes more romantic when he starts working to improve the suit, because he is also improving himself. His romantic side is shown when he says, “I shouldn’t be alive, unless it’s for a reason. I just finally know what I have to do, and I know in my heart that it’s right.” Tony does just what he says he is meant to do, when he flies back to Afghan to saves the people.

Tony Stark is a classic American Romantic Hero because he fits the criteria. According to our notes, the Romantic Hero character traits include being emotional, which he shows emotion when he says to his assistant after she claims to never want to replace his heart again, that she is the only one he has. Another character trait is individualistic, which he shows throughout the entire movie as he works alone in his basement for hours to achieve his goal without the help of anyone. When Rhodey refuses to see what Tony is working on and his assistant doesn’t pay him too much mind on the suit, he takes matters in his own hands. He breaks free from the company to work by himself to help and save the people. Revolutionary is included as a romantic trait which Tony shows in the movie by calling a press conference and giving his stance on the Stark Industries weapons. He creates energy and gains power through the creation of his suit, in which creativity is a romantic trait that he shows. Although he has rational ways, Tony overall fits the criteria of a Romantic hero.

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Tony Stark breaks the mold of the classic American Hero for a couple of reasons such as being exotic (the suit isn’t normal & it is very modern), being puritanical by being humble about being Iron Man (until the end when he reveals himself). I believe Tony revealed himself as being Iron Man because him being the cocky “always right” guy he is, he craved the credit he would receive if people knew he was Iron Man. Tony knew exactly what to do to improve and better not only the world but himself, but he wanted people to know that all of it is from him. Him revealing himself is his correcting his mistakes of the Stark Industries weapons. The weapons weren’t a good idea and he is allowing Iron Man to make up for the mistakes he made through the company. I don’t believe he was wrong for telling everyone it was him. Although he won’t be able to leave his superhero life for an ordinary life like Spiderman goes back to being Peter Parker a high schooler and other superhero’s go back to their normal lives, but he will not only feel like a better person, but he will be a better person. The writers of the script may be trying to say that modern society and modern individuals are the romantic heroes who ideas reflect on the people of the world. Iron Man in the American Romantic Hero.

Works Cited

  1. Box Office Mojo. (2008). Iron Man.
  2. Brooker, W. (2009). Iron Man: A Late-Model Hero. Third Text, 23(1), 55-66.
  3. Gough-Yates, A. (2013). Heroes and Villains. In Understanding Popular Culture (pp. 72-95). Routledge.
  4. Heer, J. (2013). Iron Man and the Post-9/11 American Security State. Journal of Popular Culture, 46(2), 235-253.
  5. Klapatch, K. (2011). Iron Man: From Comic Book Hero to Cultural Icon. The Journal of Popular Culture, 44(6), 1226-1242.
  6. Lee, S. M. (2019). “I am Iron Man”: Tony Stark and the Construction of the Superhero Masculinity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. International Journal of Contents, 15(2), 35-42.
  7. Lofficier, J. M., & Lofficier, R. (2017). The essential Iron Man. Marvel Comics.
  8. Marvel Studios. (2008). Iron Man [Motion Picture]. United States: Paramount Pictures.
  9. Saarinen, A. (2012). Postmodernism, Masculinity, and Superhero Comics. Journal of Popular Culture, 45(5), 987-1004.
  10. Wickham, P. (2017). Superheroes, Identity, and the Postmodern World. In The Philosophy of Comics (pp. 121-139). University Press of Mississippi.
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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Tony Stark as Iron Man: A Character Analysis. (2019, April 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 5, 2023, from
“Tony Stark as Iron Man: A Character Analysis.” GradesFixer, 10 Apr. 2019,
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