Posted by: daveed | July 31, 2008

Dark Knight of the soul

In a post on the message board that he created, my friend Adam expounds brilliantly upon the morality lurking in the film’s shadows. Quite possibly the only essay that weaves into the discussion on the film’s thematic structure Hobbes’s Leviathan, the nihilistic nature of evil and the dangers that arise when societies become less free. On the horror of the Joker’s amorality he writes:

[The Joker's] not trying to achieve any long term goal. To have any end would be to value an outcome, and it is the act of valuing that he seems to have targeted principally. He burns money, and money is the means by which people express their peaceful acquisitive nature (ie, exchanging value for value)… I see the Joker as a narcissist who has fetishized creating situations in which he increases the probability of people behaving in the violent, murderous ways that affirm his depraved view of humanity, his sense of anti-life, as it were. Is that, in the end, what evil is: unapologetic, aimless sadism?

An earlier post of mine here mentioned Nolan’s development of the Joker character. (And no, I haven’t friggin seen it yet; judging by the box office records it’s smashing, I’m clearly the only person in this hemisphere who hasn’t…)

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