Jack Bauer: the smart warrior's Faustian gift



Publication Details

O''Donnell, M. (2008). Jack Bauer: the smart warrior''s Faustian gift. Media International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy: quarterly journal of media research and resources, (129), 33-45.


Jack Bauer of the television series 24 is a highly charged contemporary mythic character who exists in powerful relationship to past and present real-world and fictional figures. If Rambo was a classic Reagan era cinematic ‘hard body’ (Jeffords, 1994), Jack is the archetypal Bush ‘smart warrior’ in a post-Patriot Act era. Like Rambo, Reagan’s displays of bravado were decisive and successfully staged; however, George Bush has faced a multiplying set of uncertainties. This sets up a more complex set of relations between Jack, George W. Bush and contemporary masculinities than those presented by the Reagan era. Jack is both an emblem of unimpeded presidential will and a parable of its Faustian consequences.

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