Dry Manhattan, clearly named after the Manhattan project, is used as a paean by the government, mirroring the use of the Atomic Bomb. Not only this, Dry Manhattan, when choosing his symbol, chooses the hydrogen atom as his emblem. This symbol shows the strong connection between Dry Manhattan and the hydrogen bomb.
Through thorough analysis of his character, it is clear that because of his unique qualities, his perceptions of time, life and humanity are different from the norm. Like Aleck Lemmas, from The Spy who came in From the Cold, Dry Manhattan shows little human emotions, reflecting the emptiness of the post-war era.His blunt and impersonal statement, “A live body and a dead body contain the same number of particles. Structurally, there’s no discernible difference. Life and death are unquantifiable abstracts. Why should be concerned? ” shows the questioning of meaning and purpose in life. The use of disconnected scientific language shows the scientific impacts of the atomic bomb on the world.
- Thesis Statement
- Structure and Outline
- Voice and Grammar
The dark black background used in this panel reflects the darkness of the world during this era. In the beginning of this graphic novel, the repetition of the line “The comedian is dead. ” reflects how happiness had been torn from the world during the cost-war era.The sharp, truncated statement conveys an empty state of mind. The second last panel on page 26 of the graphic novel shows an empty birds eye view of the city buildings.
The dark tones, used and lack of life in this image emphasis the death of “The Comedian” – happiness. Throughout the graphic novel, a constant motif can be noticed. A series of clocks, or watches can be seen in either their own panels, or in the background Of others. The most obvious analysis of these clocks, would be to relate them to the doomsday clock, which is a symbolic representation of a nuclear war.As the clock strikes closer to midnight, the closer destruction creeps. The slow, steady progression of the clock moving towards midnight creates a sense of anxiety, reflecting the era of the war. Time in “Watchmen” is also used to convey other aspects of the After the Bomb era.
Just as in waiting for Got, the ability of moving forward can be seen as absent in Chapter IV. “The photograph is in my hand… In twelve seconds time, I drop the photograph .
.. Walking away. It’s already lying there, twelve seconds into the future… L found it.
.. Twenty-seven hours ago.It’s still here, twenty-seven hours into the past… Lam still there looking at it. ” The photograph alone represents a freezer, unmoving moment in time, representing the Cold War era.
Many people were unable to look past the war, and held on strongly to the past. The idea of the photograph is even further supported with the act of time physically passing, but Dry Manhattan, still unable to look away from the photo. This thought is even further explored through the act of Dry Manhattan looking at the stars. His factual, scientific statement “They are so far away, and their light takes so long to each us…All We ever see of Stars are their Old photographs” show both the lost state of humanity of the post-war era, and the hollow emptiness that some felt.
The idea of a controlling government can also be seen in Watchmen, as it is seen in The Spy, and Masters of War. In chapter 9, Dry Manhattan states, “We’re all puppets Laurie. I’m just a puppet who can see the strings. ” This theme or power, and powerless is a general observation on the way of life during the Cold War. It is an example of how the Government was about to control society.