Arnold Schwarzenegger

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Master's February 1997

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His gap-toothed grin is one of the most recognized in the United States and the world. Broad shoulders on top of an abnormally muscular torso with legs of steel are also trademarks of the man. For most people, the sight of his bulging biceps wielding ridiculously large arsenal of weapons is not an uncommon phenomenon. The strange, thick accent that escapes his lips does not seem ludicrous anymore. Labeled as king of mayhem and mass destruction, he proclaims to the world he has a sense of humor. He backs up his word with an image-shattering vehicle that automatically thrusts him to the top of the comedy A-list. Arnold Schwarzenegger is, arguably, the number one American Icon and movie box office draw not only in America, but in the entire world; although he represents different concepts to different people, the result is usually the same, staggering box office receipts. The violence of his films speak a universal language, ensuring that international markets are ripe prospects.

His identification with young children, politics, bodybuilding/fitness enthusiasts, hollywood, and most importantly, an inseparable bond with the American Dream make a superstar of the man who is Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Born in the tiny village of Thal-By-Graz , Austria, young Arnold Schwarzenegger did not seem destined for grandeur. 'In the beginning Arnold seemed an unlikely figure to become a cultural icon' (Flynn 10). Living in poor, medieval-like conditions, Schwarzenegger was raised alongside his older brother Meinhard in a strict, Catholic household. His father, a police chief, often put his two sons through rigorous physical tests, as well as mental. Schwarzenegger credits these tests and his father's strictness as a contribution to his strong self-discipline. As a child, Schwarzenegger often spent many hours in a movie theater watching Hercules films portrayed by various bodybuilders such as Reg...