The Dark Knight of a Postmodern World

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“The Dark Knight of a Postmodern World”

“The Dark Knight” is a film based on DC comic book character Batman and his fight to protect his home, Gotham City, from the antagonist, the Joker. Director Chris Nolan provides the viewer with not only an action film, but also a thought-provoking masterpiece. The film focuses on the thin line between sanity (Batman) and madness (Joker) and how anyone can easily turn from good to evil, the example being Harvey Dent becoming Two-Face in such a short time. The film deconstructs previous ideas of the “hero” by portraying Batman not as a hero, but as an “anti-hero”. He appears to be the hero, but possesses no superpowers and also causes mayhem in his city, much like a villain would. The Joker represents postmodernism because he threatens our “givens” (Instead of soldiers who are allowed to die, threaten the mayor and hospitals). He makes people question everything, creating chaos. The Joker also represents post-modern beliefs because he challenges our idea of the conventional villain, who is supposed to represent pure evil, by comparing himself to the hero, Batman, using such examples as how they are both freaks to society and how they were both created by one bad day.

The most important instance of post-modern values is the Jokers entire character. He believes the average man lives with a bloated sense of humanity’s importance and a frail and useless notion of order and sanity. He sees human existence as mad, random, and pointless and the world as a psychotic carnival of animals that will kill each other at the first chance; “When the chips are down, these uh, these "civilized people", they'll eat each other.” Although his beliefs on others are post-modern, his attitude toward himself seems very naturalist-like. In one scene he explains “You know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! You know…I just do things…I'm not a schemer. I try to show the schemers...
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