Why is Rorschach so likeable?

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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:52 am UTC

Hrm, alright. That does cast his character in a new light. You know, this makes me able to interpret the end of the novel a little better.
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It always bothered me that he takes off his mask and breaks down, appearing to almost surrender even as he's telling everyone that he's never going to compromise. But if what really happened was that he was confronted with a firmly ambiguous moral action--one that fits his value system and his ideals, but at the same time completely goes against his idea of "hunting down the murderer"--then it makes sense to me that he'd take off his mask, as all that philosophy that he'd built into his Rorschach identity had just been demolished. Rorschach wasn't facing death with defiance, he was suffering a breakdown.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Belial » Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:41 pm UTC

Which fits with one of the main themes of the book: that everything that looks heroic and noble and badass about the whole costumed hero business is just an erroneous romanticization of something pathological or seedy.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby smw543 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:55 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Which fits with one of the main themes of the book: that everything that looks heroic and noble and badass about the whole costumed hero business is just an erroneous romanticization of something pathological or seedy.

Or both ("Punish me!").
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby modularblues » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:35 pm UTC

Rorschach's character caters to a certain "vigilante complex", like Dexter Morgan -- blood spatter analyst by day and serial killer by night.

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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Allium Cepa » Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:27 pm UTC

modularblues wrote:Rorschach's character caters to a certain "vigilante complex", like Dexter Morgan -- blood spatter analyst by day and serial killer by night.


Rorschach and Dexter are completely different, they both fight crime to a cerain extent, but their motivations are completely different. I mean both were kinda products of their enviroment, but Rorschach doesn't feel compulsions like Dexter does. Even though they try and succeed in the show to humanize Dexter, I think Rorschach is still a more relatable or sympathetic character.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Dustin » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:59 am UTC

All the stuff people were saying about "morality" and "compromises" earlier I think was a smoke screen for why people really like him. People who say that as they grow up they sympathize more with Dreiberg are nearer the truth. Rorschach is likable to so many people because being a superhero is for him the same thing it would be for teens and kids who like them: escapism.
For Night Owl, that time he was a superhero was an embarrassing past that left him alone and directionless when it was over. For Silk Spectre it was a burden. For Rorschach, thinking "I am the only thing standing between the few bits I interpret to be good in this world and the abyss" was a way of not confronting the thought "I am actually a dirty, smelly borderline squatter-hobo virgin who would slit my own throat if I ever reflected on this for too long."
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Magnanimous » Sat May 01, 2010 5:15 am UTC

Personally, I like him because of "hurm". It's just a great word.

Also, I hadn't really paid much attention to his love of Truman until this thread, but it does make a lot of sense. He approves of Hiroshima/Nagasaki because that was forty* years ago, and its effects are obvious: it played a big part in stopping WWII, which saved countless lives. On the other hand, it's impossible to predict the outcome of Ozymandias' plan at that moment, so he defaults and says it's evil.

* Or however many years it was... I forget exactly when Watchmen was set.

Also:
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Switch31 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:47 pm UTC

I liked him because he showed what it would really be like to be totally uncompromising in the pseudo-real world of the Watchmen. One of the things I really liked about the movie was how he dies. He knows he cannot live in a world where there is a grey area between good and evil. He knows that he is incapable of accepting anything he deems as wrong as being "for the greater good." So he accepts the inevitability of his death.

Easily the coolest part of the movie.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Woopate » Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:37 am UTC

I watched the movie first, and definitely was more fond of Rorshach than any of the other characters. Then I read the book, and I find that I enjoy all the characters pretty equally afterwards (which is to say, much much more than after the movie), but Dreidberg now stands out for me, and it's interesting that in my mind, he's more of a "guy in a costume" than he is actually the character that's supposed to be put forward by the costume. With Rorshach, he is his costume, but with Dreidberg, when he's Nite Owl II, he's still Dreidberg-in-a-costume. The whole Truman thing with Rorshach is an interesting idea that I'd never really noticed but I think is accurate.

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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby sje46 » Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:17 am UTC

Magnanimous wrote:Also, I hadn't really paid much attention to his love of Truman until this thread, but it does make a lot of sense. He approves of Hiroshima/Nagasaki because that was forty* years ago, and its effects are obvious: it played a big part in stopping WWII, which saved countless lives. On the other hand, it's impossible to predict the outcome of Ozymandias' plan at that moment, so he defaults and says it's evil.


A few posts mentioned how utilitarian Rorschach is. These people are crazy. Yes, he often does do cruel things in order for a greater benefit...such as, say, break a guy's fingers in order to find a child murderer. A child murderer which he would then kill, instead of bringing to jail. A real utilitarian wouldn't cause any more pain than is necessary, and would try to optimize happiness. This point of view is represented by Ozymandias, definitely not Rorschach.

R represents our illogical, emotional nature. I'll expand on this, but first let me explain how I viewed the other Watchmen.

The comedian was an existentialist egoist. Morality meant nothing to him...all that mattered was himself. Which leads to, well, sociopathy. R is not a sociopath, btw, because sociopaths have no sense of morality at all, while R most definitely has a sense of morality. The Comedian is an existentialist because he found no inherent meaning. He decided his own meaning, which is simply self-gratification, despite the rights of others.

Manhattan is simply a nihilist, IMO.

Silk Spectre II and Nite Owl II seem pretty much to be the same....regular people who takes everything in consideration in regards to morality, with their own faults.

So what is R? He's an existentialist, and he finds meaning through the one thing that is most true to him, most genuine. His gut sense of emotion. There is no logic there at all, only what he, in his stomach, feels is the correct thing to do. Many of us, in our liberal heads, think that the death penalty is always wrong, while knowing that if anyone kills a loved one, we want that murderer to suffer a horrible, horrible death. But we value logic, so we have to say it is wrong, despite our feelings, but we smile in glee as a masked superhero thrusts an axe repeatedly into a child murderer's brain.

For R, the lesbians deserved to die because it fundamentally disturbs him, as it fundamentally disturbs many people burn in the 50s. Their brain just flashes "WRONG" with no input from the logical parts. He was probably ingrained with racism from his father or whatever, and initially views the Japanese as animals, not worthy of consideration, even though we know, logically, that they are just like white people. But to many people, when they think about the Japanese, or blacks, or whatever the word "ANIMAL" flashes in their brain, and that affects their interaction with the outside world. Blowing up New York City, though? Too far, there are actual people living there. It doesn't matter what justification you give. if someone suggests blowing up New York City, the word "WRONG" is going to flash in neon blinking red in your brain. Any justification "It'll unite the world under a common enemy" seems so distant and fake.

This is how R finds meaning. By sticking with that which feels most true to him...his basic, gut emotions. If you do that, and be sure you never consider logic, you will never feel like you messed up. You won't say later "Oh dang, I don't think that decision maximized happiness for all!"

This is, if you don't mind me getting political, how many conservatives tend to think. Distrust of namsy pamsbly logic, operating solely on their base emotions, which are mediated by their prejudices.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Apteryx » Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:20 am UTC

I think if he really existed, if you were sitting somewhere and he really walked in the door, even people with a clean conscience would break into a sweat and head out the back if they could do it without attracting his attention. The point about him is he makes mistakes, or COULD make mistakes, but his iron certainty will carry him right through your beating, beg or plead how you will.

Liking the complex interesting surprising character is a lot different to thinking he would be a cool drinking buddy. Or an admirable friend.

I think Moores distress at people "liking" him is probably because he senses the sort of fan-boy that says "lol, Rorschach is is the Coolest hahahaha" isn't giving any thought to the moral complexities of a character who thinks in absolutes. Or the rights and wrongs of a man using extreme gratuitous violence in the name of "right".
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby pineapplepie » Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:20 am UTC

People "like" him because he's so damn interesting. He can act morally reprehensible at times, but, admit it, reading about him never gets boring. His speech patterns are very stylized, his outfit is awesome, and everything he does is extreme. We like him because he's entertaining.


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