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20091203-11 Watchmen, Chapters 4-6 (Group 6)

Page history last edited by Emily Schulte 11 years, 6 months ago




The question we are presented with in Watchmen is “Is Ozymandias a villain?” He creates world peace by the destruction of half of New York City. We are often muddled by decisions in ethics but Rorschach knows where he stands on this matter. He sees only in black and white but because most moral decisions of great importance are grey area, this becomes a conflict. Nevertheless, he records the happenings throught the story and sends it to the newspaper hoping the world may learn the truth. However, if the journal gets out, the world may retract back to its former state while if it doesn’t, it will be as if Rorshach died for nothing. We must once again ask the question, “Will this last?”


One of the themes we see in Watchmen is the thought of who's watching the Wathmen? The message being it is not good to give too much power to one person. This is a satirical reference to Ronald Regan and the political scene at the time. Ronald Regan is referenced when we see that the newspapers editor’s initials are also RR and Rorschach signs his name with two “R”s and when the editor comments how he doesn’t want a cowboy actor as their president.


The role of women in this novel is that they are abused, sexual objects, and prostitutes though often not by choice. Perverse sexuality is seen throughout the book whether it be through gay relations or rape.

Some of the reoccurring images that we see are the smiley face (the crater, the comedian’s pin, etc), Hollis’ pumpkin, and the electro hydrant (which is almost a smiley face itself). Rorschach doesn’t think that there are patterns in life but here they are. We are the ones who create meaning for them.


Word Count: 297




Chapter 2, page 7 (last middle panel)

This page and the previous lays out Sally's rape scene. The Comedian attacks her after the meeting and rape her. Hooded Justice, her cover, notices that she has been missing for awhile, only to find the Comedian raping her. The Hooded Justice beats him up and when he finished, the Comedian says, "This is what you like, huh?/ This is what gets you hot?" Hooded Justice is actually secretly gay which is seen to a majority of the population as a perverse sexuality. However, the Comedian says this after he rapes Sally which is also seen as a perverse sexuality. They parallel each other in a sense here although the Comedian's is viewed as much worse and he is progressively seen doing morally wrong continuously whereas Hooded Justice is not seen as doing anything morally wrong because no one even knows that he is gay. This really shows how the world is so messed up and so far from being as it should. 


Chapter 12, page 25 (first panel and bottom panel)

In the first panel we see Dr. Manhattan once again demonstrating his absolute power (like God) by walking through a wall. Also, in the bottom panel we see Dr. Manhattan defying physics once again as he walks away from the sight of Dan and Laurie naked, by walking on water (another parallel that can be drawn to God). He has the power to end the world.


Chapter 11, page 28 (middle panels)

Here we see the newspaper salesman trying to shield the younger boy from the explosion set off by Ozymandias, even though throughout the text we are shown the two being quite standoffish. In the last pages of chapter 11 we see regular people (not "superheroes") trying to help/save each other; here is an example of real human love.



Ch10 p6. when Rorschach softens- when he goes back to get his extra clothes and sees the land lady



Hubris - Greek term meaning overweening pride that Adrian (Ozymandias) exemplifies when he executes his plan for world peace.

Galle Crater - smiley face shaped crater located on Mars

Comments (1)

Brian Croxall said

at 1:07 pm on Dec 7, 2009

These notes are less polished than most that your group has done so far this semester. I suppose that this shouldn't be surprising since you are likely busy with different finals, but...I'm still surprised. You've chosen good passages, but they haven't been explained enough. What does it mean that Doctor Manhattan is linked to God and god-like powers over and over again? Could it--as we discussed in class--influence how we read the ending of the text? I like the you included the end of chapter 11, but you could have drawn the contrast against the superheroes even more sharply. And the passage about the rape seems to need the most work. You are right to notice the perverse sexuality that is happening here. But it's not so much Hooded Justice's homosexuality that should be understood as perversion (a fairly technical term, if you've read too much psychoanalysis or psychology, as I have) but the suggestion that his beating up the Comedian could be a sexual act for him (i.e., that this is a possible scene of sadism). Much more important than any of these points, however, would have been to talk through how Moore and Gibbons use this scene to comment on how women are regularly portrayed within comics and on the fantasy of comic readers for the stereotypical female superhero. You discuss this just a bit in the summary, but much more should have been made of this.

You do a good job in the summary in marking out what is at stake in the ending of the text. Linking Ozymandias to the definition of an anti-hero would have been helpful, I think, in clarifying that he reaches a good goal through a series of amoral decisions. It's also worth noting that the patterns we see in the text don't have meaning in real life (i.e., the lives of the text's characters), but they do have meaning to us as readers. I don't know that my final bits of class differ all that much from what Rorschach himself would say.

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