Is Vincent the Hero in Gattaca Essay

The film Gattaca fails to provide us with a character that can be clearly defined as a hero. By definition a hero is a person of distinguished courage or ability and is admired for their noble qualities and exhibits certain traits that are deemed to be heroic. In Andrew Niccol’s film the character Vincent freeman at times display heroic qualities but they do not consistently show them to prove to us that he is a heroes. Vincent takes on a whole new identity changing from an in-valid to a valid which makes it difficult to distinguish his true identity from the borrowed one he has become.

Throughout the film it is hard to see Vincent’s true personality through the facade he displays to the outside world. And there are many cases where Vincent shows quite admirable qualities like when he is with Irene and he lets go of the strand of hair saying “the wind caught it”. At first this may seem a very heart felt gesture but for Vincent this could be a form of insurance gaining Irene’s trust and if she was ever in a position to protect Vincent’s identity she might do so.

Up until the point where Vincent decides to infiltrate Gattaca, he is just an average person, an outcast of society, a lonely person with no life who’s survived on nothing but a dream. Up until this point there are no characteristics being shown by Vincent which show that he deserves to be classified as a hero. The character Vincent Freeman from the moment he was born was seen as weak and genetically imperfect but he is able to overcome these constraints.

Vincent was labelled as an in-valid, a label which determined how long he would live to what he could be able to do. Vincent’s strong character, determination and desire to achieve his dreams displays his true heroic qualities. He refuses to abide by the rules of Gattaca and with little hesitation finds a way to make his dreams come true no matter what the cost. “They used to say that a child conceived in love has a greater chance of happiness.

They don’t say that anymore. This leads us to believe that Vincent is someone who can defy the odds and have enough determination to achieve his dreams in a world where individuality is eradicated and unwanted and all you need is good DNA to succeed. Although Vincent is showing lots of courage and determination, in reality in order to achieve his dreams Vincent has had to become a criminal and resort to illegal measures and deceive many people to achieve his goals. This then challenges Vincent to whether he is worthy of a hero status.

Vincent has gone through many hardships to get to the position he is in. By becoming a borrowed Ladder he gained entry to Gattaca to achieve his dream of becoming an astronaut. He is so determined that he has gone to such extreme measures that he has totally abandoned his own identity and in part is own personality and abandoned his family leaving them to believe that he was dead. Anton telling Vincent that “our parents both died thinking they’d outlived you”.

This is not the behaviour or characteristics that are looked respectably upon as heroic. As Anton begins to put the pieces of the murder at Gattaca together, he gets closer to revealing Vincent as the fraud he really is. “You committed fraud. You’re in a lot of trouble. ” Anton tries to help out his brother and follows the rules but even though Vincent has accomplished so much he is not content and still has to beat down his brother. Is this envious quality something we look for in a hero? No heroes are modest and humble unlike Vincent.

Like many of the people in Gattaca Vincent has something to hide. When Anton and Hugo perform the raid at the Cavendish club everyone flees and no one even knows what they want yet meaning that everyone is hiding something and there are many people just like Vincent hiding in the society of Gattaca. When Vincent hides his identity he becomes a criminal, buying an identity illegally on the black market and becoming like all the other borrowed Ladders. Vincent is no different from anyone else.

He has committed a crime and is far from being called a hero. He is daring but not courageous and seems superior knowing that he has outsmarted Gattaca. Qualities which are not heroic. “Just remember, Lamar, I could have gone up and back and nobody would have been the wiser” Vincent says this to Lamar just after Lamar reveals that he has known Vincent’s secret all along. All Vincent has achieved is getting away with a crime. “We shed 500 million cells a day” says Vincent it only takes one to show Vincent’s true identity.

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