How is the fictional world portrayed in Watchmen different than the real Cold War world? What are key differences between the fictional and real events? Which different historical outcomes within Watchmen seem to be plausible? Which do not?
In the comic book Watchmenthe fictional world is portrayed by the writer as he uses the character of costumed adventurers who are real and governed by the government. He further utilizes the character of superheroes who are real people with special capabilities and living in a modern society faced with real problems. One of the superheroes who is believed to have gained special capabilities of being able to control the atomic bomb is Dr. Manhattanalso known as Jonwho had an accident while he was carrying out an experiment as an atomic physicist, he reassembled himself and gained the ability to control atomic structure which could save the nation from threats of atomic bomb and nuclear war. This differs significantly from the real cold war where soldiers with the normal human characteristics go for war.
The key difference between the fictional and real events is that real events are based on true life stories whereas fiction is dependent on imagery characteristics that are given a role in a real world setting.
The historical outcomes within Watchmen that seem to be plausible include the fact that the writer uses real world problems such as murder cases and the government facing opposition.
The existence of superheroes and Dr. Manhattan who had super powers is implausible and unrealistic in today’s world. This thus remains to be fictional and not real.
- How does the character of nuclear war shape the plot, the character’s motivations, and the setting? Is the threat of nuclear war the most important background element driving the story? Why or why not?
The character of the nuclear war shapes the plot as it results to the nations’ fear of nuclear destruction. Besides this, the threat of nuclear war affects the life of one main character; John who had an accident during his experimental research towards preventing atomic bombing. This resulted to John who was later named as Dr. Manhattan facing trauma and isolation from the rest of the society although he would later save the nation from nuclear war and atomic bombing.
The threat of nuclear war is not the most important background element driving the story. This is because; the murder of a super hero who had been working for the government draws the interest of a number of super heroes who had retired already. The murder of one of them compromises their stand of being the ones to save the nation from the nuclear war threats.
- Who is Dr. Manhattan? What are his abilities and why are these abilities significant to the balance of power in the world? What real life aspects of nuclear warfare/diplomacy might he represent?
Dr. Manhattan is an atomic physicist who had been convinced by his father to do experiments with regard to counteracting an atomic bomb. An accident that vaporizes him in an experimental intrinsic chamber changes his life forever as he survives and reassembles himself using his new ability to ‘control atomic structure’. He experiences physical changes with blue skin and blank white eyes that results to his traumatic experience of being isolated from the rest of the society who consider him not being a normal human being.
His ability to control the atomic structures is significant to the balance of power in the world as he is the only person with the ability to control bombing. He thus acts as the best defense protecting the country from the atomic bombing threats. He acts as a tool made with recent technology that can be used by the country to counteract nuclear warfare.
- By the end of the graphic novel’s story, who do you agree the most with in terms of their conclusions about the morality of the situation; Rorschach, Ozymandias, or Dr. Manhattan?
I agree with Dr. Manhattan as his accident leads to the commencement of his traumatic experience with the society. Due to his physical alterations that resulted from the experimental accident, he is isolated by the societies who consider him as being different. Even though he was a normal being before the accident, people are quick to discriminate him in spite of the fact that his accident occurred during his experimental research on how to save the entire society from atomic bombing. In addition, Dr. Manhattan stay at Mars made him to realize the beauty of humanity which motivated him in his quest to protect the humans from nuclear warfare.His will to forgive men and protect them from the atomic bombing and nuclear warfare shows his good moral standards. On the other hand, Ozymandias was always engaged in murders as a deliberate social activitywhereas Rorschach hated humanity and was only interested in protecting the lives of his fellow super heroes.
- DoesWatchmen offer an optimistic or pessimistic view of the late Cold War? Do you think anyone writing in 1987 could have predicted the end of the Cold War just a few years later?
Watchmen offer an optimistic view of the late Cold War since Dr.Manhattan acts as a symbol of the end of Cold War. This is because of the fact that he has super powers that are of assistance in ending the cold war. The writer also gives hope to man as his story indicates of possible ways by which humanity could be protected from the late cold war through research and development of nuclear protective technologies. I do not think any other writer would have predicted the end of Cold War just a few years later. This is because there had not been any solution to effectively end the cold war which led to too much destruction of the human lives. It was only until Dr. Manhattan’s unfortunate accident that he gained super powers which he could use to end the cold war.