Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Pure Reason and Pure Insanity: What's the Difference?

Presenter Information

Tori WinslowFollow

Class

Article

Department

English

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

While Batman has assumed a variety of looks and roles in our society today, he started out as a detective. I will demonstrate how the original Batman character fits into the category of hard-boiled detective and how many of the concerns of the genre-such as the accessibility of pure reason and the constraints of social connections-are present in the early comic books. Then I will examine how the presence of The Joker further complicates these questions about reason and connectivity. He is unpredictable and irrational, making him one of the most unreasonable characters in the Batman universe; on the other hand, he possesses the capacity to plan and carry out the most detailed and intelligent plots, suggesting that he is in fact one of the most reasonable characters. This paradox forces the audience to wonder where the line lies between the detective and the villain. When the capacity to reason is strong in both Batman and The Joker, what makes the hero heroic and the villain villainous?

Start Date

4-9-2015 9:00 AM

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Apr 9th, 9:00 AM

Pure Reason and Pure Insanity: What's the Difference?

While Batman has assumed a variety of looks and roles in our society today, he started out as a detective. I will demonstrate how the original Batman character fits into the category of hard-boiled detective and how many of the concerns of the genre-such as the accessibility of pure reason and the constraints of social connections-are present in the early comic books. Then I will examine how the presence of The Joker further complicates these questions about reason and connectivity. He is unpredictable and irrational, making him one of the most unreasonable characters in the Batman universe; on the other hand, he possesses the capacity to plan and carry out the most detailed and intelligent plots, suggesting that he is in fact one of the most reasonable characters. This paradox forces the audience to wonder where the line lies between the detective and the villain. When the capacity to reason is strong in both Batman and The Joker, what makes the hero heroic and the villain villainous?