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National Treasure is an adventure, mystery, and detective fiction film. The film was first acted in 2004. This film was written by Terry Rossio, Jim Koff and Ted Elliot, directed by Jon Turteltaub and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. The film is about a treasure hunt. Benjamin Franklin Gates is the main character in the film. He is a historian and cryptologist (Elliot, 2007). His family members, starting with his grandfather Christopher Plummer and his father Patrick Gates have worked all their life as treasure hunters.
However, this work has not paid them any benefits. As a result of Ben’s father being a treasure hunter for the last twenty years, the family has grown poorer and poorer. In fact, they have become the laughing stock of their place of residence. Because of this, Ben’s father discouraged his son from pursuing treasure hunting. Nevertheless having been motivated by the clue from his grandfather, Ben, his friend Riley Poole and Ian Howe decided to pursue the dream (Elliot, 2007).
This essay will analyze the theme of bravery as portrayed in the movie National Treasure that follows a gentleman called Benjamin Franklin Gates. National Treasure is one of the films written by Jim Kouf, Oren Aviv and Charles Segars. It was directed by Jon Turteltaub and screen played by Jim Kouf,Cormac Wibberley and Marrian Wibberley. By unveiling this theme that is present in the film, we are able to understand how Benjamin took a bold step to search for the Declaration of Independence, which was actually a great treasure to go after. The essay explores the driving force in pursuit for the treasure and how this man eventually succeeded in his mission.
History indicates that everyone in Benjamin’s family had a dream of getting this important treasure. However, they all believe that it is not an easy task since it involves taking risks. Moreover, when Benjamin Franklin Gates is told about it, he is determined and discovers a clue of going for it. Thus, he is referred to as a treasure hunter. The knowledge about the treasure dawned on his mind in 1974, when his grandfather broke the news to him. He realizes that the process of claiming the treasure would cost one a great deal. Benjamin is quite tactful and, therefore, he takes time to devise ways on how he will go about the situation. He suffers critics and ridicule from his own father, who had initially failed to get the treasure. However, Benjamin is not discouraged as he moved to achieve his goal.
Numerous challenges attempt to derail the process of getting this significant tool. There was the time, when Benjamin almost gave up, when he thought that the government who would not allow him to have the document. Therefore, Benjamin sees stealing the treasure as the best way of going about the situation. He tries to work together with Ian Howe and his henchmen, but unfortunately the group betrayed Benjamin and his friend Riley as they attempted to get the Declaration document from Charlotte. Nevertheless, the two did not give up and decided to use another means of success. In order to maintain their ego, they decided to approach the authorities and warn them. At the beginning, they were not fruitful, when FBI and the Homeland Security department failed to cooperate with them and referred to them as lunatics. Consequently, Benjamin chose to work with the National Archives. At last, there is a glimmer of hope of getting the treasure, when he is granted an opportunity at the National Archive.
Here is a man, who defied all the odds in order to find and protect the so called great treasure. Benjamin did not care about the security officers in the Archive as he remained focused to get the Declaration. In cooperation with Riley, Benjamin accurately plots how he would go with the document without being noticed. In the National Archive, the Declaration is not exposed, where anyone could get it easily. Thorough search was done in order to have it. Riley gathered courage and switched off one of the heat sensors that embedded the display case containing the Declaration. Immediately, Benjamin disguises himself as a janitor and goes to Abigail to take her finger prints. Although, he boldly undertakes his plans, Abigail becomes suspicious and hesitates to help him. However, Riley persuades Abigail using his technology and finally Benjamin takes her finger print and the password and goes back to the preservation room. He begins to open the document’s case. Unfortunately, Riley abruptly, loses a feed to the Archive camera. This denoted another downfall to the two men. Benjamin was not discouraged by the problem and decided to put the entire case in an elevator to remove the Declaration.
Fiction, as a literature work, has been used and changed over a very long period of time. Fiction is a major branch of literary work that seeks to inform or narrate events or information that are not factual, but somewhat imaginary (Hall, 2009). Fiction can be presented in acting or in singing. Fiction is different from non-fiction work in that the later deals with absolutely factual happenings. Fiction can either be realistic, nonrealistic or semi fiction. There are many genres of fiction. One of the genres of fiction is crime fiction. Detective fiction is a sub-genre of crime fiction. In detective fiction an investigator, who is always referred to as a detective investigates, a particular crime committed. These crimes are most often but not always murder cases. This paper looks at Benjamin Franklin Gates (National Treasure) detective fiction and how it has evolved over time.
Evolution of Detective Fiction
Detective fiction is a sub-genre of crime fiction. The history of detective fiction is a long one. Early crime narrations started with early Arabic and Chinese stories. This earlier stories had no investigators, who tried to ascertain the criminals who committed crimes. The police were not part of these stories. Crime fiction was recognised as a literary genre in the nineteenth century (Hall, 2009). Crime fiction during the 19th and 20th centuries was dominated by the American and the British writers.
Earlier works started with publication of works, such as ‘Murders in Rue Morgue’ by Allan Poe in 1841. These fiction crimes involved stories of murder in locked rooms. Consequently the above literary works have been famously known as locker rooms (Hall, 2009). The fiction crime literature then spread gradually to the United States of America, Britain and France. Other famous crime fiction authors include Doyle Arthur (1880-1920), who wrote The Sherlock Holmes. His writings led to advent of fiction crime works known as mysteries. The name came because the crimes in the fiction involved hidden anecdotes that the viewer or reader needed to puzzle out. Doyle fiction crime was also the first fiction to involve the work of a hired investigator to solve a case (Hall, 2009).
The fiction literature work of Christie Agatha (1890-1976), who wrote Parker Pyne, Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple are often termed as works of the golden age. These works apart from having hidden anecdotes had also plots with many twists and turns. Hard boiled fiction crimes have been another recent crime fiction work. The hard boiled fiction works are Americans favorites. These fiction crimes portray investigators as tough and loners. They smoke cigarettes more often, heavy drinkers, always hanging out in bars. Beating and shooting criminals help the investigators solve the cases (Hall, 2009).
The modern crime fiction emphasizes much on the characters rather than the plot. The fiction works are theme oriented. Many of them answer the question of the role and credibility of the investigators. Most of the current detective fiction involves the police and government agencies (Hall, 2009). They portray crimes happening unexpectedly. It then becomes difficult to identify the criminal. The police and government agencies make thorough investigation to identify the criminals. One suspect is eliminated one after the other until the actual criminal is arrived at.
Other characters, who come to play later, are Dr. Abigail Chase of the national archives, Agent Peter Sadusky of the FBI. Ian Howe tries to acquire the national treasure illegally, but he does not succeed. The film ends with Ian Howe having been captured by FBI for the committing various crimes: kidnapping, trespassing and attempted murder. Franklin Ben, on the other hand, gets reward for helping the government recover its national treasure of US$10,000,000,000. Ben is given US$100,000,000 for helping the country find its treasure (Elliot, 2007).
This film shows amalgamated characteristics of different film detective periods. However, the most dominant characteristics are modern detective fictions. The film has modern systems of investigating and bringing criminals to book thorough investigation. Ian Home, for example, is captured by the FBI for attempted murder, kidnapping and tress passing. This shows FBI role that it performs in the society. FBI doesn’t convict criminals without evidence but through investigation (Elliot, 2007).
At the end of the play, we learn that there was a theme being built. That is being good citizens like Ben and not evil ones like Ian. Old system of writing detective fiction was also employed in the film - the national treasure. One of the most notable things is the use of mystery, which needs to be puzzled out. In our case there was the treasure mystery to be puzzled out. Doyle Arthur and earlier crime fictionist used this method extensively. There is also an aspect of the hard boiled fiction employed in creating the national treasure fiction. Benjamin was determined in having the Declaration and hence could do anything to become a successful hunter of the treasure. Before removing the Declaration from the display case, he decided to go to Ian with the case. Ian’s partner shoots at him but he luckily makes it back to the elevator where he finally removes the Declaration from the case and hides it in his jacket. Tension rose in the National Archive, when Abigail discovered that Benjamin was not in the guest list for the gala. Therefore, he had to escape to the gift shop having taken the Declaration with him. Unfortunately, he is arrested again and loses the Declaration to Ian. Benjamin’s efforts to have the treasure are thwarted when he is arrested by the Sadusky and Ian advances to retain the Declaration. He escapes death threats from Ian and still insists on looking for the treasure. Ben remains in custody as he advocates that the treasure had to be given to the entire world great museums.
Bravery forms the largest component of the film National Treasure. The life of Benjamin Franklin Gates in the movie transcends in courageous steps he takes in pursuit of the Declaration. Although in his lineage there is no one who has succeeded in getting the treasure, he is determined to do all that is entailed to get the significant document. There is no hindrance that discourages him from realizing his dream. He cleverly takes the necessary measures to ensure that the Declaration is protected from the hands of other people. Benjamin is betrayed by Ian as he decides to steal the document. Moreover, the FBI and Department of Security refuse to work with him in order to get the treasure. Therefore, he opts to disguise himself and marches to the National Archive accompanied by Riley. He succeeds in taking the Declaration from the Archive, but does not remain with it. Ian takes the Declaration when he is arrested. Furthermore, Benjamin remains firm that the treasure ought to be split up for the benefit of all museums in the world.