Good vs. Evil in Batman
The Dark Knight is a reflection of how the good responds to the nature of evil. The Joker is the ultimate evil character and throughout the film he puts other characters in a tough situations that force them to choose between right and wrong and ultimately good and evil. Examples of this are seen with the characters Harvey Dent, Batman, and in the lifeboat scenario scene. The Joker’s main goal is to prove that people are truly evil deep down and he manipulates them to bring that evil out and finds pleasure in destroying the good in people.
One of the main characters in The Dark Knight, Harvey Dent, shows one way good reacts to evil. Harvey is the district attorney of Gotham City. Harvey had done much good to the city by putting many of Gotham’s criminals behind bars. Batman once also said to Harvey that he was the symbol of hope that Batman could never be and Batman even referred to him as the ray of light to Gotham. He is one of the pure good in the film and is constantly being called “the White Knight” of Gotham.
Because of all of the goodness Dent had brought to Gotham he was considered a hero to the citizens and this made him a prime target for the Joker’s manipulations. “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain. ” Dent said this early in the film during a dinner with Bruce and Rachel. This applies to Dent because if he had died in place of Rachel, he would have died with honor and he would be remembered as a hero in Gotham. Since Harvey was the survivor of the Joker’s deathtrap, he was left finance-less and with half of his face blown-up.
The Joker took away the only person he truly had loved and took advantage of Dent at this time and convinced him that no matter how much good you do you will still suffer and live in pain and through this terrible loss and trauma suffered by Dent he turns to evil to seek revenge for the death of Rachel Dawe, his fiance. This led to a conversation between Dent and Batman that proved that the Joker was the reason for Dent’s downfall. Dent started in, “The Joker chose me. ” Where Batman replied, “Because you were the best of us.
He wanted to prove that even someone as good as you could fall. ” and finally Dent added, “And he was right. ” He used Dent to help prove his point that there is madness and evil in all people, even those as good as Harvey Dent. At one point the Joker says, “Madness is like gravity, all it needs is a little push. ” He had given Dent that push and his madness fell like gravity because he went from cleaning up the streets of criminals to becoming a criminal who kills others based on the 50/50 chance of a flip of a coin.
The Joker was able to turn Dent from pure good to evil all through his manipulation and evil acts. On the other side of the reaction to the Joker’s evil is shown in the lifeboat scene. This is on the other end of the spectrum when being compared to the way Harvey handled the evil of the Joker because the people in the boats were able to stay good and pure, even the convicts that were probably expected to be the ones to blow up the opposing boat.
The Joker wanted the civilians to blow up the convict boat because it would show the selfishness of the good people proving that they aren’t that good at all and in the end the whole experiment failed showing that both the convicts and civilians showed goodness and thought of the other people in the other boat, putting other people’s lives before theirs. In the middle of subjecting to evil or remaining good is where we find the protagonist of the movie, Batman. An example of Batman showing a darker side is during the scene where Batman is interrogating the Joker.
Batman tries to get information out of the Joker in order to save Harvey and Rachel and the Joker attacks his weakness which is his insecurities and one rule of not being able to kill. Through this manipulation, where the Joker was telling Batman that he isn’t like the policemen and that they are just using him and the Joker and him are very similar because they are outcasts, the Batman turns violent and shoves the Joker up against a wall. His composure is broken. The Joker got inside his head and he cracked.
An example how the Batman remains good is how he has so many chances to kill the Joker and get rid of his problem so he can retire from the Batman position but he could not come to do this because it would be against his rule. Killing someone would shatter his goodness. Also the Batman does all he can to save civilians lives, while risking his own life. He cares about the greater good of Gotham city. He is called the Dark Knight because of this struggle between good and evil. Alfred, the butler, had this one line that really stuck out relating to the Joker.
It was, “Some men aren’t interested in anything logical, like money. They can’t be bullied or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn down. ” This mirrors the fact the Joker only does these evil things to watch others tumble and fall into the traps of evil and slowly take the world down. All in all, there will always be evil in the world and it all matters on whether or not the good join the evil or remain against it. The reactions to the evil is what really matters.