We Are Groot: ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Celebrates Heroes With Real Psychological Deficits

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Leagues and legions of superheroes are usually effective as a direct result of the union of each member’s unique abilities, whether they include super-human strength, lightning-speed, telepathy, or other powers that individually define each of them as a deserved hero and collectively create an unstoppable force.

In Guardians of the Galaxy, we’re introduced to a band of outlaws, outsiders and outcasts. With the exception of some sweet dance moves and decent marksmanship, we don’t immediately get the traditional introduction to the colorful rainbow of superpowers we’re accustomed to with superhero teams. There’s no amazing, no fantastic, no spectacular. The Guardians themselves refer to themselves as “losers” and the “biggest idiots” in the galaxy. They underperform or fall below normative expectations. In fact, these space misfits offer something rarely seen in superhero films: the Guardians show emotional, neurological, developmental and communication deficits that 1) are not expected to be resolved or cured at the end of the film and 2) do not make them ineffective as heroes.

I developed a conceptualization of each character’s “below-average” functioning across some psychological dimensions and explain why these deficits do not create significant limits for them. The lesson Guardians of the Galaxy offers is the idea that these deficits are not resolved or “fixed” by the end of the film. In fact, we don’t feel sorry for the Guardians because of their impairments. We learn how they supplement and strengthen other abilities in order to relate to the world, to be successful in their mission, to protect each other, and to form meaningful relationships with one another. The Guardians, as a result, have what’s called adaptation, at a level that is well above average.

Read More: Guardians Of The Galaxy Champions Heroes With Real Psychology

One Response to “We Are Groot: ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Celebrates Heroes With Real Psychological Deficits”

  1. Dani says:

    Wonderful work writing We Are Groot: ‘Guardians Of The
    Galaxy’ Celebrates Heroes With Real Psychological Deficits Under the Mask.

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