What Techniques Can We Borrow from Iron Man?

Fast cars, expensive suits, private jet, hot girls, Malibu mansion. Tony Stark is cocky, glib and vain, and money, status and partying are high on his list of values. A few carefully selected images and we get a good idea of the type of person Stark is.

While the images you’ll be using in your essays probably won’t be as flashy as those in Iron Man, they can be just as effective in revealing who you are. Here are three image-incorporating techniques you can borrow from the movie.

  1. Associate tangible objects with abstract traits or feelings. For example, fast cars equal need for status.
  2. Use external landscape to mirror internal state of being. When Stark is kept hostage in the dark cave in the middle of the desert, that reflects his inner state. Stripped of his material possessions, Stark is stranded externally and internally. I know, pretty deep stuff, huh?
  3. Use a talisman. A talisman is a significant object that the main character attributes power to, but paradoxically it can also represent his major weakness or fear. In Stark’s case, this would be the arc reactor that represents his heart (or lack of one).

Incorporating images into your essays will make them vivid and interesting, like Iron Man. Without images, your essay will be as fun to read as an SAT reading comp passage.

By the way, I used Iron Man as an example because it rocks, but these techniques are used in all movies. And in all novels too. Think of The Scarlet Letter or The Pearl. Talk about obvious use of images!