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Watchmen: Unusual Superheroes Story

  • Updated October 30, 2021
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In every story, there begins conflicts that build up the plot of every story; right and wrong is not always obvious, and people’s judgment always differs concerning what is more moral than the other. In psychological development, humans are said to undergo six developmental stages of moral reasoning. In a study carried by Lawrence Kohlberg, he came up with conclusions that people develop basic standards of moral reasoning from a basic background where they judge right and wrong based on what the authority states are right and moral.

A child will refrain from certain activities merely to avoid punishment. As they progress, they recognize the norms in the wider society, and the motivation to do goo comes from the desire to be considered good. In many stories, those that are seen as heroes are those that have decided to use their best qualities for the greater good of society. Their perception of what is good is revealed by the help of a villain who always works with the selfish intent that in most cases hurt other people. However, such stories do not always reflect the actual picture of how the society functions.

Sometimes, both the villain and the hero are faced with a dilemma that requires them to, make some radical decisions. The decisions may not always make them popular, but the heroes always seem to have their way around and provide a solution. What makes the villains what they are is the methods they use to solve the challenges that face them. Since both the hero and the villain have to make difficult decisions sometimes, they require a higher level of moral reasoning. According to development psychologists, one needs a form of abstract thinking to achieve higher levels that can help them determine what is right. They have to go past conventional morality and use their own acquired knowledge and experiences in society to make the right decisions.

Watchmen is a story of superheroes whose role in the society they existed in reveal the complexities of human relations and emotions but even further provides many perspectives which we can use to view our society. In the Watchmen, Adrian Alexander Veidt is also the superhero Ozymandias, stands out as a unique character. Even though each superhero has their strengths and weaknesses, Veidt conflicts with the rest of the group and the society at large. He looks at the state of society and decides to make a plan to achieve world peace. Veidt is a lone ranger and prefers to go at it alone after what has happened with the rest of the group. The fact that he is willing to kill a fellow superhero to stop him from standing in the way of the plan shows his determination to achieve what he believes is world peace.

Veidt alienates himself and does away with who seems more like the leader of the group, doctor Manhattan; He forces him to go for exile on Mars. The split in the group and the death of Blake leaves him with ample time to accomplish his plan. The society is facing its destruction since there is tension between the US and the Soviet Union which is a threat to world peace. The world war III is looming, and this may have sent humankind into extinction. Since Veidt has been known all his life for working for the interest of humanity, he is a character that most people would want to associate with since he is a real hero. His actions are perceived by society to be moral and generally acceptable in society.

However, Veidt is forced to use his own shaped beliefs and set of morals he has developed over many years in his experiences to make a plan that in his perception is the best way to go. He is planning to create a catastrophe in New York which he will fake to be an alien invasion. This clever plan he intends to use as a means to prompt world leaders to come in agreement and combine efforts to overcome a common enemy. The principle of common enemy works most times, and in this case, it worked perfectly making the Soviet Union and the united states stop the nuclear threats on each other. The plan alienates Veidt from the rest of the group and makes him look like a villain. His methods in achieving world peace are emanating from his convictions of what is right. It is alright for him to kill a few million people to save many millions.

In his group of superheroes, he prefers to have fewer superheroes whose impact in the society does not provide long-term solutions and in many cases creating mistrust and chaos. He, therefore, decides to kill Blake who would have revealed his schemes to the rest of the society and the society at large. The question then becomes why he would never have wanted his plan to be revealed. When someone has been known to have a plan that benefits society, it is their joy to let their plan and may even solicit support to accomplish it. In this case of Veidt, he uses the wealth he has created to hatch his plan and kept it a secret. The main reason he kills Blake is the nature of his intentions. He is willing to see a million people die but the rest of his group is not ready to stomach such an occurrence. They cannot kill to save a life even though to Veidt, that seemed to be the only way out.

It was not easy to bring the world to a common table to discuss the looming war, but they would be forced to come to the table and discuss the common enemy which on the one hand gives his method credibility. The challenge is that the society cannot decide nor can his fellow superheroes help him decide who is to be slaughtered as a sacrifice for world peace. No government is ready to let go of its citizens to die as a means to save the world. It is the role of the government to protect its citizens and save lives. What faces Veidt is a dilemma that he deliberates on without the help of the rest of his group or society. A wrong in the society can, therefore, not be pointed at before the whole situation is considered.

The murder remains to be murder and terrorism remains what it is for as long as the society is concerned, and Veidt in this story is seen as the enemy of what is good. His friends try to stop him but it is too late, the plan is already underway by the time they try. The actions of Veidt have moral and ethical implications both on him and on the society. As a brilliant man with extraordinary skills and abilities, he had the responsibility towards the rest of the society. He needed to use the skills to save lives and to help better the lives of humanity. When the superheroes receive negative publicity, they exit the scene of the world power and politics, and humans are forced to face life on their own with no help of their watchmen. Veidt after amassing enough wealth, still feel the innate need he has always have to help humanity. He started by using non-violence to fight crimes in society, and this shows that he had compassion.

The same compassion that inspired Veidt to help the society to fight crime is the same compassion that has inspired him to put an end to the war among nations. His plan helps to bring world peace in the end, but he is left asking questions of whether in the end, he did the right thing. He doubts the sustainability of the peace he has helped the world to achieve, whether all the murders and broken relationships were worth considering what he has achieved. In his conscience, it still bothered him that maybe he was wrong to have gone through with his plan. He doubted that might be the people died in vain and that eventually humanity would go ahead and destroy themselves.

The reason he gave humanity to make them come together was not real, he created an illusion that would soon fade away, and all that he did will be for nothing when the nuclear war starts. There is the fear that the newspaper was going to publish the journal written by Rorschach and if that happens then, the whole society will know of that plan. Weighing the damage of the plan on the society and the feeling of being duped will leave humanity will take humanity at war again with a fresh focus knowing that nothing binds them and they have no common enemy.

Manhattan tells Veidt that nothing ever ends. Manhattan’s statement meant that all his efforts were for nothing because the society will never achieve permanent peace. There will always be a new war, another reason to hate and things will keep on going wrong. Sometimes what we perceive as right is wrong and what seems wrong may be right. There is no clear-cut, and in this case, Veidt’s will was short-sighted. He was still a murderer and a violent man, even though he achieved peace, his methods took too much, more than was achieved. In one way or the other, the world was going back to where it had come from, the only thing he did was to delay it.

Considering the world had already gone to two world wars and witnessed the devastating effects of war, it was hard to imagine that they would change. The society had let things spiral out of control, and there was no initiative to save humanity. Matters of importance are not addressed, and with limited resources and technological advancements, everyone is pulling the best things to their end. Every nation is focused on protecting its interests. Ideally, it was the superpowers that sought to protect their interests and dragged the rest of the world into the struggle. As a result of the struggle, the world was on the brink of a major war when Veidt intervened. The fact that the society left the power in the hands of superheroes shows that it had derailed from its foundational beliefs and hailed evil instead of right. Veidt acted alone to shape world power and politics, an initiative that the society should have taken to save itself.

The moral of the society must be at its lowest for it to overlook the suffering of human beings and put material gain fast. The people the society entrusts worth power are selfish strategies, and Veidt is their type. Being a product of the society, he acted like the rest of the society; the only difference was that he applied his method with an intent to save humanity from destruction. It means that the society is willing to kill to gain something greater, and that is what Veidt did to have only his gain was to achieve peace. Manhattan’s answer provides another insight into society. He responded to the confused Veidt that nothing ever ends until he went elsewhere and started over. It means that the society had already sailed on a journey on which there was no coming back.

Any efforts to save it were worthless. When the superheroes were out protecting humanity, they were accused, and they received negative attitudes from the public. It would seem that society had seen the need to take control of matters and build themselves up. Unfortunately, once the society gained control and did away with the superheroes, they spiraled back to where they were before. Veidt may have had good reasons, but the society he wanted to save did not provide many means through which it could be saved. There was no room for negotiation; they were going back to war. There was no care in the world, and therefore nobody cares about how many people die as long as the sovereignty of a particular nation is maintained.

Every effort is channeled towards power and power consumes everything else including humanity itself. There is history to learn from, but society fails to take the lessons. As society becomes more complex, the more there rise ways to execute atrocities and excuses to go to war. Considering the nature of the society, Manhattan concludes that it is better to leave it alone because it is worthless to try and help them, in the end, only more problems are created in the world, or the solutions fail to serve a long-term purpose. Whether one is right or wrong, however, is subject to the situation in question.

Cite this paper

Watchmen: Unusual Superheroes Story. (2021, Oct 30). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/watchmen-unusual-superheroes-story/

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