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The Societal Influence of The Dark Knight in American Society

By Joaquin-VALLE PINTO Nov 26, 2014 1128 Words
The Societal Influence of The Dark Knight in the American Society “Whoever controls the media,
controls the mind”
Jim Morrison

Since the dawn of mass media, there has been an evident change in people’s lives. The global productivity increased due to faster news developments and decreased, for more entertainment gives a society less productivity; nonetheless, there are certain specific pieces of media that have had a massive impact in modern society. It is very important to understand that different types of media have different repercussions in society. As time goes by, said forms in media will also be prone to change because of many factors that exist in the modern world For instance, newspapers have turned people into a morbid and negative society because of the vast amount of deaths and relative “bad” news. This essay will have the focus on film for it is the newer media and most of the world has access to said media. An exemplar is Christopher Nolan’s film The Dark Knight Rises. This modern neo-noire film is the perfect epitome of how media promotes a sense of opinion in cultural values and affects people’s comportment on a micro level.

The Dark Knight trilogy mirrors the American Society culture in terms of terror and fear and small fanatic groups with news stories that exist on daily media. As mentioned before, mass media such as newspapers have a great impact on the people’s perception of the world. As Basu Shraddha comments, “newspaper is the mirror of democracy”. Depending upon the gravity of an event, how the human mind reacts changes. The newspapers can only show the fact, they don’t have the right to manipulate it. Sometimes, some biases may exist in the writing, but that could be considered as part of the discussion because personal matters and opinions should not exist. They should be objective and to the point. Many events occur in a daily basis, if the newspaper is not there, people cannot come to know about said events. In terms of the Dark Knight Rises, what more recent and modern newspapers have accomplished is a reign of terror and fear of the outside world due to the fact that so many horrendous crimes have been committed on the streets every single day. People are locking themselves in their rooms of their houses because they do not trust the outside world. Some say that they are just scared, but in truth, their perception has been skewed with the broad amount of unethical and exaggerated news seen in the general mass medias.

The vigilante culture in United States is heavily seen in The Dark Knight Rises with a sole man being able to restore peace and hope in a lost city. The common image of the vigilante drawn from Western popular culture is a reflection of the dictionary definition: “a member of a volunteer committee organized to suppress and punish crime summarily (as when the processes of law are viewed as inadequate)”.1 The main premise of The Dark Knight Trilogy, revolves around the theme of justice. There is a city (Gotham), where the mafia controls the flow of money and the economicall and political power. Individuals that are only interested in caos and destruction do exist in this city, and normal means of law enforcement are useless against any of this “problems”. Then, we have the main character; the vigilante that started creating his own justice in Gotham. He is a hero in a way, but if one really thinks about him, he is above the law. He will not follow police orders because he is not even allowed to “fight crime” as some of us call it. This mirrors how the American vigilante culure is. It involves certain people wanted to be a “hero”; nonetheless, in the real world there is a crucial difference: law enforcement does work. Convential policemen, CIA, FBI, INTERPOL and other hundreds of organizations have specifically benn created for this purpose. It is imperative to comprehend that with the release of the Dark knight rises, the amount of masked vigilantes in the American society has seen an exponential increase.

The cultural complications of a form of entertainment “gone wrong” is directly attributed to enormous power the message the film attempted to convey. The cultural implications of such themes in the media and the respective movie have been cited as directly evident in recent events. For example, one can clearly see said element in the case of the theatre shooting in Colorado during the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. This is considered as one of the most serious shooting in American history3, the media horded to the scene to attempt to find out the young man’s motivations to open fire on harmless individuals were. “Cited news reports stated that the shooter colored his hair orange to imitate the Joker, a character from a previous Batman film that had a penchant for the same type of behavior.” (Ulterain: 16). While for other instances the influence of this type of media may be small or not quantifiable, in this case it is absolutely clear and evident. This is the example that started the fascination of such a powerful. It made some people irritated at the showing of said media; it made others realize the reality of how media can really change how people thing and act; notwithstanding, it completely demonstrates one of the extreme points of influence by a movie.

Many statements have been made; some involving media as a form of entertainment, and others as some sort of influence in people’s life. In the end, one has to remember that visual media (films and shorts) are created as a form of entertainment. Some might have an underlying message, or subliminal references; nonetheless, one can clearly state that the director of The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan) did not expect fourteen people to die because of a movie he made. He expected people to enjoy said film and take it as a form of entertainment. It might be too late. Media might influence more than we really think. Only future reactions of society towards certain pieces of information will help us understand how media will alter how people think.

It is very important to understand how stating the social influence of the Dark Knight no

The Dark Knight (Film)
The Dark Knight Rises (Film)
Batman Begins (Film)

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