In The Adventures Of Tintin Analysis

1318 Words6 Pages
Hergé was himself a self-taught reader of philosophy with, among other things, a special interest in oriental philosophy. The Adventures of Tintin also lend themselves to a political reading. One of the fundamental questions of political philosophy is that of the best form of government, and Tintin, in the course of his travels around the world, offers his readers some thoughts on this question. Tintin’s voyages allow him not only to witness history in the making but also to experience a diversity of cultures and societies and, especially, of governments. To cut short, there are basically good and corrupt government leaders. In Hergé’s comic books, both exist. Given that children tend to “personify” the government, that is to say that, for…show more content…
The two stories which take place mainly in San Theodoros (an imaginary country) are The Broken Ear (first version in 1937, second in 1943) and Tintin and the Picaros (1976), the very last of the series. In these stories, one finds a veritable power struggle corresponding to the type of political legitimacy commonly associated with stereotypical (caricatural) representations of South America. Moreover, in Tintin and the Picaros, Tintin participates in the seizure of power by helping General Alcazar carry out a successful coup d’état. Over the course of the entire Adventures of Tintin series, San Theodoros undergoes a total of five revolutions, or rather coups d’états, bringing to power alternately either General Alcazar or General Tapioca. In these Latin American stories, Hergé seems to offer his readers a caricatural and yet fairly perceptive vision of the political problems of that region, and especially of the role of the military elite. In Latin America, the status of the military elite in the state structure leads them to aspire to central positions of power rather than to limiting themselves to a territorial defence…show more content…
Amoral in the sense that the Latin American dictators do not work for the progress or their nations; they don’t believe in any moral duty in their job. They are outside the moral world; they are not tormented by the conflict between good and evil. As Tintin witnesses it, revolutions are amoral in their techniques (it’s merely a game) as well as in their cause and effect.Actually, their effect is minimal, as shown by two frequently cited scenes in Tintin and the Picaros: the departure and return to San Theodoros, which show that obviously, Alcazar’s seizure of power has not eliminated misery (Picaros, 11 and 62). First, when the plane transporting Captain Haddock and professor Calculus prepares to land in Tapiocapolis (11: 8–9), two frames expose the contrast between the modern city and the extreme poverty of the capital’s shantytown. The second frame shows two soldiers patrolling a garbage dump inhabited by the poverty stricken while a nearby billboard proclaims “Viva Tapioca.”At the end of the story, the plane leaves with our friends, accompanied by Tintin and Jolyon Wagg’s Jolly Follies. The plane flies over a similar scene, the only difference being that the two military personnel inspecting the shantytown are soldiers of Alcazar’s government and the billboard now proclaims “Viva
Open Document