Movies/My Culture/Teen Culture

Why We Need to Talk About “Infinity War”

I need to talk this through.

First of all, SPOILERS AHEAD! If you haven’t seen “Avengers: Infinity War” yet and don’t want major points of the movie spoiled, look away and come back when you’re ready!

OK, just us now? Great. I have been a fan of Marvel movies ever since I saw “Iron Man” blast onto the screen ten years ago. Needless to say, I have excitedly — and admittedly anxiously — been waiting for “Infinity War” to come out for quite some time now, and it didn’t disappoint. After seeing meme after meme about what was sure to be “the most ambitious crossover event in history,” it was glorious to witness so many beloved characters come together through shared adversity and for the protection of mankind! But something else happened during this movie that made my heart stir. “Avengers: Infinity War” made such a solid argument for the beauty and duty to protect all human life.

Did you catch that?

“Infinity War” follows all of our favorite Marvel heroes as they unite to defeat the evil Thanos — the big, bad guy who’s responsible for all of the treachery they have faced from the beginning. Thanos is trying to collect the six Infinity Stones — ancient stones from the beginning of time that, if used altogether, give the wielder the ability to reshape reality or even wipe half of humanity from existence “with a snap of the fingers.”

Thanos isn’t a normal villain, trying to insert anarchy and chaos into the world, or fighting for power and wealth. Instead, Thanos wholeheartedly believes that wiping out half of the people in the world at random is a good and just thing to do. He believes that the universe is severely overpopulated and that resources are scarce. Eliminating most people would ensure that no one would go hungry or have to suffer anymore.

Our heroes, on the other hand, have a different opinion on the matter. The Avengers are sworn protectors of the dignity of all people. They argue with Thanos and poke holes into the mass genocide the madman thinks will bring an ultimate good; the ends don’t justify the means. Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and other heroes at several points throughout utter a line that becomes a major theme of the movie, “You cannot trade a life for a life.”

A Major Theme

While I was watching “Infinity War,” I always sided with the Avengers, especially since the movie does a fantastic job reminding us that Thanos’ idea is inherently problematic. Looking at the world in its entirety, I could see that the disappearance of half of the population would be devastating. I was rooting against Thanos and a culture that proposes death as a solution. The hero in me looks at the large scale destruction of humanity and wants to fight back. But the truth is, we live in a world where it is easy to accidentally — or intentionally — fall into a way of thinking that transforms us even more into a culture of death. On a day-to-day level, I am often burdened and frustrated with others. I don’t always actively seek out the worth and importance of each individual life. In other words, I am not a hero. Instead, I live a life that says others are in my way, divides people into those who are “important” and those who aren’t, and classifies others according to what they have to offer.

Honestly, I haven’t done the best job noticing the small ways I can be a hero and fight against this culture of death, but movies like this remind me how important it is to be a day-to-day hero. They remind me to slow down and seek the beauty and good in others. It reminds me that they are not burdens, that they aren’t something to be categorized based on how useful or “important” they are. Ultimately, they remind me that a hero does what is just, not to receive but to defend.

THAT Ending

“Infinity War” ends with a huge cliffhanger: Thanos actually succeeds and eliminates half of the population of the world!

We see what happens when Thanos gets what he wants as we wait with baited breath as some of our favorite heroes quite literally vanish from the screen. There were audible gasps in the theater, including my own, as some of the best heroes vanished from existence. As fans, we feel the weight of the loss of our favorite heroes. I mean, can you even imagine a world in which Black Panther doesn’t exist?

When life isn’t honored as truly sacred and is done away with for the sake of lesser goods, we lose true heroes. We lose stories. We lose people who can change the world. That’s the price we pay. That’s exactly what we lose when we destroy the beauty of the individual. I am invited to defend human life on a daily basis because I recognize the tragedy it would be if someone was wiped away from existence.

We cannot let a culture that subscribes to this type of thinking prevail, even if it’s on a small scale. We have to recognize and promote the dignity of every individual we encounter in our day-to-day life if we want to defeat the culture of death. We must stand up for those in our world who are tossed aside, forgotten, and neglected. Heroes defend life — no matter what — because they understand the importance of the existence of human beings. We too came to understand this as we watched our favorite heroes vanish from the big screen, helpless, in jeopardy, and needing to be save. And ultimately, that’s what we learn from “Avengers: Infinity War.”

For more on understanding the pro-life argument, check out All for One.

About the Author

Kiernan Doyle

Florida State University graduate working in production in New York City. I’m the happiest when I’m hiking with good friends and listening to Mumford & Sons. Currently scheming to take over, “The Tonight Show” from Jimmy Fallon. Follow me @kiernandoyle.

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