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Who is James Bond? Show more Show less
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From the beginning of the James Bond movie franchise in 1962, 007 has proved to be a long-lasting cultural icon. The spy for the U.K. Secret Service has now starred in 26 movies, accruing many high-tech gadgets and charming huge amounts of women as he goes. But who is James Bond? Is he a hero? A villain? A symbol of a time gone by? Or totally irrelevant?

James Bond is a problematic figure Show more Show less

James Bond is nothing but a symbol of sexism, imperialism and capitalist over-indulgence
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James Bond is a symbol of indulgence

Bond is an ostentatious character, and his over-indulgence is a celebration of greed. Critics have also noted his excessive tendencies with violence and romantic relationships.

Context

James Bond, known as Agent 007, is a fictional spy character created by the British author Ian Fleming. He is a British icon, renowned for his escapades, peerless courage, and success with women. He is known for using the latest cutting edge spy technology and his skill in order to outwit his enemies. James Bond is also a movie franchise worth billions. Recently, James Bond has been criticised for the lavish lifestyle depicted in the films, along with excessive violence and womanising.

The Argument

A core part of the appeal of Bond movies is the way they portray the luxury of Bond's lifestyle. Bond lives in excess - a world of wealth, luxury cars, high-tech gadgets, and beautiful women. The gadgets he uses are completely out of budget for most people. Aston Martin has created a James Bond car, complete with gadgets, which is worth some £3.3 million. [1] This shows the excess and wealth behind James Bond's lifestyle. This luxury and glamourization of greed is immoral. Living this way is portrayed as a virtue when it is simply vacant worship of capitalism. These movies portray Bond as a figure to be imitated, but his luxurious lifestyle should be rejected. The James Bond films are also exhibiting an increasing overindulgence in violence. A recent study showed that in the 2008 Quantum of Solace there were 250 acts of violence compared to 109 acts of violence in the first James Bond film.[2] This may reflect a trend in films showing more violence, but does not take away from the fact that the franchise is becoming more and more violence-orientated. James Bond also continually displays an overindulgent attitude towards women. Estimates put the number of young women he has slept with at 52.[3] His womanizing ways are legendary, but may, in fact, be a harmful stereotype. Young men seeking to emulate James Bond may display misogynistic tendencies and view women merely as objects of playthings. The James Bond films encourage this attitude as the Bond Girls have derogatory names like 'Pussy Galore'.

Counter arguments

Although definitely a symbol of indulgence, the material expense shown in the movies is necessary in order to create an escapist fantasy world for the audience. People attending a James Bond film do not expect to see their own daily live's mirrored on the screen within a realistic budget. The cutting edge gadgets and technology that he utilises are necessary in order to create the alluring fantasy world that he inhabits.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Overindulgence is fundamentally wrong. [P2] James Bond portrays a life of material overindulgence. [P3] James Bond portrays a life of overindulgence in violence. [P4] James Bond portrays a life of overindulgence in women. [P3] James Bond is a problematic figure.

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/video/news/video-2179940/Video-Aston-Martin-creates-real-version-James-Bonds-car.html
  2. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/jamesbond/9742550/James-Bond-acts-of-violence-in-007-films-have-doubled-since-first-film.html
  3. https://www.pri.org/stories/2012-10-05/james-bond-girls-50-hes-slept-how-many-women-video
This page was last edited on Friday, 10 Jul 2020 at 15:46 UTC

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