I love the movie American Sniper. Apart from being a great story of American patriotism and heroism, it contains one very insightful quote on human nature, using the imagery of shepherding. Mr. Kyle is eating a meal with his wife and two sons, and makes the claim that there are three types of people in this world: Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs. Sheep are described as those people who “prefer to believe that evil does not exist in this world. And if it ever darkened their doorstep they wouldn’t know how to protect themselves.” He goes on to describe Wolves as those who “use violence to prey on the weak.” Mr. Kyle finishes his description of humanity by describing “those who have been blessed with the gift of aggression, and the overpowering need to protect the flock. These men are the rare breed who live to confront the Wolf. They are the sheepdog.”
An in-depth analysis of this speech (a very inspiring part of the film) is beyond the scope of the following posts. We do not need to look far to find very pragmatic examples of sheep, wolf, and sheepdog lending themselves to the support of Mr. Kyle’s statement. For our purposes we assume here the truth of Mr. Kyle’s description of human nature, and turn to the real topic at hand: a look at The Man Behind the Mask.
Over the next few blog posts (which will be compiled into a paper) I propose to take a look at Mr. William Reynolds, the protagonist in the film The Man Behind the Mask and through observing his actions determine what kind of man he really is: Sheep, Wolf, or Sheepdog.