In the Graphic Novel, Watchmen, written by Alan Moore and published in the year 1986, Rorschach is the only real vigilante, any person who takes the law into his or her own hands without recourse to lawful procedures, of all the watchmen. He breaks fingers and inflicts however much pain is necessary to get the information that he needs. Rorschach does whatever is necessary to protect his beloved city, New York, but in doing so he might bring on the destruction of humanity. Walter Kovacs first decides to become Rorschach because of Kitty Genovese’s murder.
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In 1964, she was stabbed to death multiple times and raped while thirty-eight people watched and did nothing. An article written about her death states: Still shocked is Assistant Chief Inspector Frederick M. Lussen, in charge of the borough’s detectives and a veteran of 25 years of homicide investigations. He can give a matter-of-fact recitation on many murders. But the Kew Gardens slaying baffles him–not because it is a murder, but because the “good people” failed to call the police. “As we have reconstructed the crime” he said, “the assailant had three chances to kill this woman during a 35-minute period.
He returned twice to complete the job. If we had been called when he first attacked, the woman might not be dead now. ” (Gansberg) Kitty Genovese had a dress that was given to her and made by Dr. Manhattan. This dress contained vicious fluids. Rorschach used Kitty Genovese’s dress to make is mask. The mask represents Rorschach’s such black and white morals, nothing is in between, it is either wrong or right. If it were not for Kitty’s murder and the fact that thirty-eight people watched and no one helped, Walter Kovacs might not have decided to become Rorschach.
In 1975, Rorschach was very motivated and interested in one particular case, the kidnapping of a little girl. He went investigating and after interrogating some people he found out where the kidnapper could be found. He went to the house and after finding evidence of the little girl’s rape and murder, Kovacs handcuffed the pleading perpetrator to a pipe inside his house handed him a saw and burned the place down. Rorschach gave the man the choice to either cut his hand off or die. After this case is when Rorschach decided that his alter ego was no longer Rorschach, but that his alter ego was now Walter Kovacs.
Rorschach turns in his journal right before he and Night Owl go to Antarctica to visit Veidt. When Rorschach and Night Owl arrive at Veidt’s hide out, Veidt sees them coming and does not seem to mind, as if they are no threat to him whatsoever. After Veidt tells them his plan, he reveals that he has already released his “creature” into New York and that it is done. Rorschach is furious that Veidt would do such a thing to his home and that Dr. Manhattan is going along with it. Dr Manhattan asks, “Where are you going? ” Rorschach replies, “Back to Owlship.
Back to America. Evil must be punished. People must be told. ” “Rorschach… You know i can’t let you do that. ” “Of course. Must protect Veidt’s new utopia. One more body amongst foundations makes little difference. Well? What are you waiting for?… , Do it! ” (23-24) Dr. Manhattan incinerates Rorschach but that is not the end of it. He had already given up all the information, it was written in his journal. Adrian Veidt succeeded in creating a fake alien and then making it look like the alien destroyed half of New York and people would have believed it.
Adrian may have killed about three million people but he also saved a lot more by supposedly creating Unity among countries. If Rorschach’s journal were to get published then the peace would no longer exist and that would inevitably lead to the destruction of the entire world. According to writer Soheil Rezaee, Thanks to super heroes, the 1985 setting of Watchmen is different. Because of super heroes, America won he Vietnam War making Nixon so popular that term limits have been abolished.
Fearful of invasion, the Soviet Union has developed massive amounts of nuclear warheads to counter the American arsenal and super heroes. This is what a lot of people think happened after the fake alien attack but if Rorschach’s journal was published this would not be the case, no one knows for sure. Rorschach was always the Watchmen with the most strict of morals. He became Rorschach because of Kitty Genovese’s murder and because thirty-eight people watched while it happened. He investigated all that he could and did what was needed to get the information that was needed to make something that was wrong, right.
In the end, Rorschach’s strict “black and white” morals got the best of him and he knew that he could not live with himself if he just let Adrian Veidt murder millions of innocent people. Rorschach also knew what would happened if he tried to tell the truth to everyone but he didn’t care, he took the consequences of his morals.