Instructor: Andrew Rempt
June 30, 2013
Watchmen (You need your own title)
In the graphic novel Watchmen by Alan Moore (Don’t forget Dave Gibbons!), there are several characters that fit in the description of a hero. Nonetheless, they all have flaws. There is one particular character that does feel that he is entitled a hero but (Comma) again, he has imperfections. That is Dr. Manhattan or Jon Osterman. He was pushed to enroll at Princeton University in 1948 by his father and by 1958 he graduated with a PH.D. in Atomic Physics. A few years later, he started working for Gila Flats where he would fall in love with Janey Slater. One day when he was going to go back to the lab to retrieve a watch that he was going to give back to Slater, he accidentally gets trapped in one of the test chambers. After days of not seeing him around the lab, scientists around the company saw that Osterman had become a blue man. His relationship with Slater failed and he quickly got together with Laurie. He then joined a group of other super heroes that would fight crime until the Keene Act that restricted them from fighting crime. He was the only character that had super powers. Yet (Combine) he did not want to interfere in any problems that the world was having. At the same time, he became a spectator as he saw everyone that was dying from the pregnant lady to millions of people in New York City and did not even lift a hand to help innocent people from dying. (Okay, but this seems like a summary. What’s the argument?) A real hero uses his powers to save the world. Even though Dr. Manhattan has a lot of powers that could easily make him a hero, he decides to be a spectator. (Okay, but combine these for a stronger assertion) He does not intervene in any situation that may endanger the lives of people. Instead, he lets destiny take its course. For example, the comedian or Edward Blake meets with Dr. Manhattan in Saigon to end the Vietnam War. They meet at a local bar. Both of them are talking about the situation that is going on in Vietnam. Blake has an urgency to leave Vietnam because he does not like that place at all. Then, a pregnant Vietnamese lady walks into the bar and approaches Blake. Apparently she was carrying Blake's unborn child. She tells Blake "But me, I cannot walk away from what grows in my belly. I cannot forget." (Moore, Ch 2 pg 14). She wanted Blake to take full responsibility of the unborn child, but Blake disagrees. At this point, the lady slashes Blake's face with a broken bottle. He gets furious by this, and he gets out his gun. Dr. Manhattan advices Blake not to shoot at her, and with no hesitation, he shoots and kills her. Dr. Manhattan had the power to stop the assassination of the Vietnamese lady without Blake's consent. Blake knows any better that he could have been stopped easily and points it out to Dr. Manhattan by quoting "You watched me. You coulda changed the gun into steam or the bullets into mercury or the bottle into snowflakes! You coulda teleported either of us to goddam Australia... but you didn't lift a finger." (Moore, Ch 2 pg 15) Moreover, the world is at the edge of going to World War 3. Laurie is scared that a lot of people are going to get killed. Dr. Manhattan takes Laurie to Mars to discuss what is going to happen. Laurie supplicates to Osterman to stop the war and prevent the killings of thousands of people. Laurie expresses her concern by saying "Breathtaking? Jon, what about the war? You've got to prevent it! Everyone will die..."(Moore, Ch9 pg 18) Osterman rejects Laurie's wish and continues on to explain other things. He knows what will eventually happen because he can predict the future and as afore mentioned, he lets destiny take its course. World War 3 does not break out because a monster that attacks New York. It kills millions of innocent people. The monster dies by itself, but Dr. Manhattan could of probably teleportation the monster somewhere else, somewhere...
Cited: Moore, Alan, and Dave Gibbons. Watchmen. Book club ed. New York: DC Comics Inc., 19871986. Print.
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