The subject of anti-veneration explores superheroes who are treated as veritable gods to be worshiped at one point (with Dr. Manhattan taking on the literal manifestation of a deity) and then are deconstructed in order to reveal flaws, which makes them less worthy of hero worship in the eyes of the public. In one of the epistolary essays at the end of each chapter, Osterman's former mentor, , repeats his first reaction to a newspaper reporter on learning of Dr. Manhattan's transformation: ""—a thought Glass confesses to be terrifying. (Interestingly, he reports being often misquoted as, "") Nonetheless, heroes can still be worthy within the form of hero worship as theorized by essayist and historian Thomas Carlyle and expressed in . Carlyle developed a concept of hero worship that was meant to overlook human flaws, as he contended that there was no need for "moral perfection."
This image, as it is repeated, becomes associated with Hiroshima and nuclear disaster. When the Atomic Bomb went off, the heat rays caused shadows of objects to be imprinted onto the landscape. According to : "The white light acted as a giant flashbulb, burning the dark patterns of clothing onto skin … and the shadows of bodies onto walls" (Atomic Bombing). One character in , Dr. Malcolm Long, twice buys a newspaper from Bernard, and as he reads about Russia's offensive actions, he stares at the shadows: "Russian tanks have entered Pakistan. On Seventh Avenue, someone had sprayed silhouette figures onto the wall. It reminded me of the people disintegrated at Hiroshima, leaving only their indelible shadows" (Moore 6: 16). The images, both close-up shots of the shadows on a city wall, project the idea of love and comfort, as the shadows of the lovers seem to be holding each other, their faces pressed together. However, in both instances, they only remind Dr. Long of the approaching nuclear disaster &ndash of Hiroshima in the first instance and of death in the second: "[The newspaper] says that any dead family members should be wrapped in plastic garbage sacks and placed outside for collection. On 7th Avenue, the Hiroshima lovers were still trying inadequately to console one another" (Moore 6: 27). Though the image seems to be comforting, it merely represent past disaster and man's inability to feel connected to others in the present traumatizing circumstances.
In the graphic novel Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, the theme of morality comes into question through the actions of the various vigilante heroes. This is most clearly seen through the character Rorschach. From the very beginning of the...
However, he has no full control the states of life but maintain that there are other powers that determine his action. On the flipside, critics may argue that possession of such capabilities does not make Dr. Manhattan powerful, as he has no total control over both states of life hence undeserving the Oscar Award for the leading role. In addition, the critics add that it is characters such as Nite Owl and Ozymandias who make the powers of Dr. Manhattan a reality, in their supernatural worlds. However, the truth it is Dr. Manhattan who is in possession of superpowers that can help or not help characters such as Rorschach, Nite Owl or Silk Spectre, the Comedian in execution of plans into action “He would have put some kinda fight I’m certain.” (Moore and Gibbon 14). Additionally, critics observe that Ozymandias has the ability to stop the superpowers of Dr. Manhattan through the use of materials called tachyons. Alternatively, in reality Dr. Manhattan has other powerful forces that are above the ordinary characters in the text such the Rorschach or Nite Owl such as telekinesis, teleportation and superhuman strength.
In , Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons utilize the graphic novel form to emphasize the trauma of several characters &ndash for example, showing how Laurie Juspeczyk contends with the rape of her mother and how the murder of a young girl turns Walter Kovacs into Rorschach. However, one character's story ties personal trauma with one of the novel's main themes &ndash fear of nuclear devastation. That character is John Osterman, the man who becomes Dr. Manhattan. After realizing the power of the Atomic Bomb and hearing of its effects on Hiroshima, Jon's father, a watchmaker, pressures his son into a career as an atomic physicist, and in a sudden, unexpected accident at work, Jon is vaporized in an experimental intrinsic field chamber. However, Jon does not die in the experiment; he slowly reassembles himself, using his new ability to "control atomic structure" (Moore 4: 13). Reformed into a human-like being with blue skin and blank white eyes, Jon attempts to return to a normal life. However, because of his appearance, his super-human powers, and the lasting emotional ramifications of his accident, he cannot. His powers make him crucial to America's defense strategy &ndash the government even renames him Dr. Manhattan after the Manhattan Project so that he will inspire the same fear as the atomic bomb (Moore 4: 12) &ndash but keep him from being able to relate to normal human beings, who look at him as if he is Superman, a radioactive threat, or God. Physically and emotionally separated from the rest of mankind because of his traumatic experience, Jon is no longer a part of normal society or even of man.
The ending of is ambiguous about the long-term success of Veidt's plan to lead the world to . Prior to confronting Veidt, Rorschach had mailed his journal detailing his suspicions to, a far right-wing magazine he frequently read. The final page of the series shows aeditor contemplating which item from the "crank" (to which Kovacs' journal had been consigned) to use as filler for the upcoming issue. The final line of the story is that of the editor's superior, indifferent as to which piece from the crank file is selected. He tells his subordinate – who has been established as not particularly bright – "I leave it entirely in your hands."
The term 'mercy' comes from the Latin word 'merces' or 'merced' which translates as 'reward,' according to an online dictionary the contemporary meaning of the term: "compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one's power; compassion, pity, or benevolence." It is my belief that through the expression of mercy, h...
Dr. Manhattan, though supremely powerful, suffers from a decreasing ability to relate to normal humans. He accidentally upsets his lover, Laurie, and she leaves him. Soon afterwards, evidence comes to light that a number of his co-workers, including his former girlfriend , have come down with terminal cancer. Manhattan feels that he poses a threat to others and exiles himself to , in a chapter revealing that he experiences time in a non-linear fashion. His break with the U.S. government prompts Soviet opportunism in the form of an invasion of Afghanistan (a delayed version of the real-life event), greatly aggravating the global crisis and prompting Nixon to consider nuclear reprisals.
Therefore, while Jon's story illustrates personal trauma and simultaneously emphasizes mankind's fear and awe of the Atomic Bomb, the overlying plot of focuses on a traumatic situation related to nuclear warfare &ndash the intense terror of a seemingly inevitable nuclear war. The relationship between trauma and prolonged terror is less clear than the direct connections between traumatic symptoms and a definitive traumatic event. After all, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, by definition, occurs after a traumatic event. However, some correlation has been found between traumatic symptoms and long-term feelings of fear. In , Arthur G. Neal examines numerous tragic moments in America, but he also focuses on prolonged collective trauma. "The crises precipitating a national trauma are of two types … The second type of crisis is chronic, enduring, and long-lasting. A chronic crisis lacks the dramatic beginning of an acute crisis, but builds in intensity with the passing of time" (Neal 7-8). In this type of crisis, "the central hopes and aspirations of personal lives are temporarily put on hold, replaced by the darkest of fears and anxieties. Symbolically, ordinary time has stopped ... " (Neal 5). As an example, Neal discusses the days surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis, when Americans were sure that nuclear war was inevitable. This is the atmosphere within , and the people within the story feel the same oppressive fear and helplessness that occurred in 1962. Throughout the novel, the residents of New York repeatedly return to a newsstand, desperate for updates on the nation's status. Here, Bernard, the newsvendor, constantly expounds upon the possible eruption of World War III with the members of the community: a newspaper delivery man, a lesbian cab driver named Joey, a group of punk druggies, a therapist named Malcolm Long, and anyone else who will stop to listen to him for a moment. Bernard and his customers represent the populace of New York, relating their fears that the nuclear disaster that may be upon them &ndash "People know something's coming. Ask me it's Doomsday, like in the Book O' Revolutions" (Moore 10: 13) &ndash and their concern for their own safety &ndash "I mean, there's gotta be somebody lookin' out for us, right?" (Moore 10: 23). Their constant commentary and repeated visits to the newsstand emphasize the descending disaster and the effects of fear, horror, and helplessness.
Within the fictional context of the story, the United States and the Soviet Union have been edging toward a nuclear war since the nuclear accident that transformed Osterman into the super-powered Dr. Manhattan. Manhattan had disrupted the mutually assured destruction doctrine by possessing the power to neutralize most of the Russian nukes in mid-air. With this trump card in hand, America has enjoyed a distinct strategic advantage, allowing it to defeat the Soviet Union in a series of proxy wars, including victory in . used this success and, unmarred by Watergate (in a flashback, the Comedian alludes to having assassinated Woodward and Bernstein), encouraged a repeal of the 22nd Amendment, removing presidential term limits, allowing him to serve an unprecedented fifth term in office during the events of.
In the first, Jon and his father stand on the balcony as Mr. Osterman shakes the cogs from the velvet sheet they laid upon. In the second image, from the story's future, Jon stands on his balcony on Mars, watching meteors fall, while the third image shows a close-up of the falling cogs, black against the yellow light (Moore 4: 3). The repetition of the falling cogs marks their importance but also emphasizes the sense that Jon's fate is inevitable, preordained. Unfortunately, following his father's advice and leaving this "obsolete" life of a watchmaker leads to his accident, his trauma, and his transformation into an Atomic man, and the image of the cogs indicates the beginning of this path, one that he cannot change &ndash one that will eventually lead to his isolation on Mars and the moment that he watches the falling meteors. At the very end of the chapter, the image of the cogs appears again, representing Jon's helplessness due to his inability to avoid the accident that altered him forever: "I am standing on a fire escape in 1945, reaching out to stop my father, take the cogs and flywheels from him, piece them all together again … But it's too late, always has been, always will be too late" (Moore 4: 28). This feeling of inevitability, "of being pursued by a malignant fate" as Freud notes in , emphasizes Jon's trauma (23). He wishes he could stop the cogs from falling, stop the events in his past from occurring, but he is helplessly caught up in the chain of events, unable to alter them even as he relives them. The repetition of the image of falling cogs is instead an intrusive reminder of his helplessness and his fate. However, they also have another association with his trauma. Another image of the cogs, lying on a velvet sheet to be reassembled, appears in the chapter when Jon thinks about his job, about objects falling into place, and about reassembling component parts, including his own body. These associations illustrate Jon's new, detached state of mind, his tendency to think about pieces instead of people.