“The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture.”
In the world of film and literature, villains have been used to show the opposite of the hero. Where the hero is strong and makes honorable decisions, the villain is usually self-centered and uses evil to damage the lives of others for his own purposes.
Villains sometimes fill us with fear, anger and occasionally sadness. In general, every great tale of a hero also has a villain that we love to hate. Think of your favorite villain from either literature or film. How is he/she an opposite figure to a hero? What character traits make him/her such a great villain?
In a detailed essay, describe your favorite villain and his/her villainous traits. Compare the villain’s traits to the hero’s traits to support your description.
Remember, your essay will be scored based on how well you
- develop a multi-paragraph response to the assigned topic that clearly communicates your thesis/controlling idea to the audience;
- support your thesis/controlling idea with meaningful examples, reasons, and/or information based upon your research or readings;
- organize your essay in a clear and logical manner, including an introduction, body, and conclusion;
- use transitional strategies to connect your ideas, sentences, and paragraphs;
- use well-structured sentences and appropriate language for your audience;
- edit your work to conform to the conventions of standard American English.
The Joker, who is portrayed as a violent sociopath with a clown-like appearance, murders people for his amusement. Arthur labeled Joker due to Pseudobulbar, or an inability to control laughter presents much of the stereotypical villainous traits of some of the most infamous outlaws in history. Traits of Joker’s villainous ways include his mental instability, lack of emotion and sympathy, and that he is looked up to as a social figure for his kills and actions. These traits are revealed throughout the development of his character and are displayed in the city of Gotham.
Joker’s mental instability makes him a great villain because he does not have the same acute judgment as a person without mental illnesses. Arthur seeks help by taking medication and attending therapy to help him feel more accepted and be able to keep up with being the man of his household. While going to therapy, he has been prescribed seven medications. About his progress is the dialogue between him and his indifferent therapist:
Therapist: “How does it feel coming here, does it help to have someone to talk too?”
Arthur: “I think I liked it better when I was locked up in the hospital.”
Therapist: “Arthur, you are on seven medications, surely they must be doing something.”
Arthur has struggled his entire life with not only his illness but his mother’s mental illness and well-being. Arthurs mom has a history of being medicated and ends up suffering from a stroke one night. Arthur’s mom, Penny, was hospitalized to be monitored for this.
During this period, his neighbor, Sophie, is right next to him. Later that night, Sophie comes to realize that Author snuck into her apartment, she is very startled, having only met him
once. “Your names Arthur, right? From down the hall?… I need you to leave.” We later learn that he imagined her at the hospital the entire time. All of these traits, mostly due to a mentally ill mother who did not know how to take care of herself, let alone him, causing Joker to spiral out of control. Arthur is taking numerous medications, hallucinating or at least has delusions, and goes to therapy after having been hospitalized.
In addition to Joker’s mental instability, he has an evident lack of emotion and sympathy. After being fired from his job as a clown, Arthur was taking the subway home when he was beaten up by three guys due to his inability to control his laughter. In self- defense, he shoots and kills two of the teenagers. He commits to a decision to kill all three and chases the third one down, who is limping from taking a bullet to the thigh. He finished him off with several gunshots just feet away. His reasons for this act? He reveals them live to television star Murray Franklin. “It’s been a rough few weeks Murry, ever since I killed those three Wall Street guys,” followed by “I killed those guys because they were awful.
Everyone is awful these days.” Arthur shot the three guys because they were making fun of him, however, after it was all said and done, he acted like it was no big deal. Arthur had been told by his mentally ill mother that Thomas Wayne was his father. After confronting him about leaving, Auther learns that his mother made the entire story up and he was adopted. He also had gotten ahold of his mother’s medical paperwork from when she was admitted to the mental hospital. Within the paperwork, it stated that she was highly abusive to Arther when he was a child. Because his mom was highly mentally unstable and very abusive, he grew up to have little sympathy for others and developed great self-pity. The Joker decides to kill his mother out of spite.
Joker can identify the socially incorrect actions of people and stand up for what he thinks is right, which makes him greatly looked up to for his kills. The citizens of Gotham
City, the Joker’s home town is tired of being fed false hopes and unkempt promises made by the government and those seeking election. Now, they have someone who causes chaos, goes against social norms and realizes the hypocrisy in society. Thomas Wayne, a new candidate running for mayor in Gotham City, makes a speech where he says “I will say there is something wrong with those people, I am here to help them, to lift them out of poverty” and later referred to all the citizen being clowns. The citizens, furious because he was referring to them as “clowns,” were unsure of how to further pursue this issue and only held protests in front of his buildings. Joker was the only one who was brave enough to stand out from the crowd and take serious action on the subject. In addition to Joker displaying what he believes in, he can give other citizens who are just like him a cause to stand up for. As the Joker stated in an interview, “Everybody just yells and screams at each other, no one is civil anymore. Nobody thinks about what it’s like for the other guy. Do you think Thomas Wayne ever thinks about what it’s like to be someone like me.” Joker gives people who live in the background and those who do not fit in with society’s everyday expectations something to stand with and be apart of. Joker’s actions were able to give people who feel like nobody’s a voice and stood up for what he believed was right.
All in all, Joker’s mental instability, lack of emotion and sympathy, and that he is highly looked up to for his kills are the main villainous traits that make him such a great desperado. After being adopted by a mentally ill mother who was unable to properly provide for him, Joker grew up to also have serious mental health issues as well as not being as sensitive to horrible things. With what seems to be himself against the world, the Joker was able to cause change in Gotham City, as well as causing it to burn it to the ground due to his rioting followers.
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