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    Existentialism in Batman: The Dark Knight Essay

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    When you take charge of your life, there is no longer need to ask permission of other people or society at large. When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life?. The 2008 film, “Batman: The Dark Knight,” directed by Christopher Nolan, demonstrates the actions and choices being made while still being true to oneself. The film represents one’s interior motives and how it inevitably reflects one’s true self which is evident through their actions. Through the characters Batman, Joker and Two-Face in The Dark Knight they live life all according to their own perceptions.

    Through their own perceptions and choices is where they are still remaining true to themselves. Batman is driven to do such heroic actions due to his own emotional setback as a child when his parents were killed by a petty mugger. With this at mind, Batman’s attitude towards the people that appreciate him and his actions are not reciprocated in the same way as his adoring fans’ gratitude towards him. Batman’s viewpoint in life is misery. From Batman’s past it gives him the determined attitude on life of taking out the criminals in Gotham.

    When Batman was about to go save another crime act, fans were imitating him as he caught the eye of these fans he pushed and yelled “I don’t need your help! ? This goes to show that Batman deals with his problems on his own which he believes is being true to his own self. Being a hero is ironic to the fact that he doesn’t reinforce the rules but instead, breaks through them by simply concentrating on putting down the felons. Batman continues to believe putting away criminals, is a way of being true to his self and parents as they died because once of a criminals poor action and choice.

    Joker is the opposite of the order Batman has in his life, he likes chaos and believes life is a game. The Joker doesn’t see the need for rules and doesn’t care for the consequences. Being a child with parents who didn’t support him since childhood (alcoholic father), and having scars that represent the childhood make up his identity of who the Joker truly is. The scars represent the fear he has overcome, of his father who put the scars on his face. This goes to show why he has no fear of consequences and why he thinks being true to himself is letting other people suffer.

    He likes making people decide, and this is where life is a game to him. When Gotham city is being fleeted out, there were two ferries one with prisoners the other with innocent people of the city. Joker took this to his advantage, and called both boats telling them “it’s either the scum bags or innocent people, you have the option to blow the other boat up or I’ll blow you both up at midnight ?. This shows the Joker being true to one’s self as he is taking what his father taught him as a child which was doing what you want has no consequences, and applying it to his own life and making others suffering. Some people just want to watch the world burn ? is what he says, which shows others suffering brings completeness to his game of life. Two-Face is all about the luck of flipping a coin; taking chances. When things are out of control he flips a coin but believes that he is making his own luck by doing so, therefore being true to him. As Batman saves Harvey over Rachel, Harvey’s face catches on fire and half of it burns off. As he is in the hospital recovering, Bruce Wayne comes to visit him.

    As they are talking about Batman turning himself in, Two-Face goes on to say “that it is better to actually reveal the true you rather than going back and forth to one for or the other ?. From the beginning Harvey describes everyone as being two-faced and that he also finds himself living that principle. Two-Face believes that being true to one’s self is a about taking chances, and to reveal that truth itself is self-recovery. Through his choices Two-Face believes that one shouldn’t have to suffer because they are hiding what must be open to all and that through peoples authentic choices he lives with what his choices reveal about himself.

    Therefore through the inevitable actions made through the characters of The Dark Knight there is a clear reflection of one’s true motives. This was shown through Batman’s power of taking out criminals, the Joker’s ability to make others choose their deaths and play his games and Two-Face’s perceptions of chance and truth. Through the perception of the characters’ lives, their reflection of being true to yourself was always related back. Therefore, The Dark Knight truly demonstrated how, your actions and choices will always reflect being true to yourself and how one’s determination will always get you where you want to go in life.

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    Existentialism in Batman: The Dark Knight Essay. (2018, Jul 23). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/existentialism-in-batman-the-dark-knight-53696/

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