Truth, Justice, and the American Way: An Analysis

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#1 Edited by ThePreface (1436 posts) - - Show Bio

This thread is to serve as a medium for me to share my interpretation of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In particular it's how I interpreted Superman and Senator Finch and how they serve as commentary of America and by extension the world today. Feel free to join in my musings.

When I think of what Superman represents a few things come to mind. I always go back to Action Comics #1 because despite the 78 years of refinement the character has undergone that was Superman in his purest form. A man of quality fighting for Truth and Justice in a world where Truth and Justice could be easily dismissed as the idle fantasies of the downtrodden. More recently the symbolism of Superman has taken one step further. He represents the Hope that these ideals are still achievable in these modern days and times.

Of all professions that Clark Kent could have choosen he pursues a career in the thankless field of journalism.

This is a man like any other with the caveat of being blessed with the powers of a god. A man who can choose to be whatever and whoever he wants. And what does he choose to do when he's not saving the world? To be a defender of democracy. To stand for the ideals of Truth and Justice even when those ideals seem passé.

One of logical conclusions that can be extrapolated from the prior statement is that if Truth and Justice are passé then so is Superman because that's what he represents. But I don't think that was the aim of Batman v Superman. I think it was to ask the questions, "Should Truth and Justice be irrelevant? If it is indeed irrelevant why is that so?"

There's a scene where Superman's alter ego Clark Kent argues with Editor Perry White about what the Daily Planet should be covering. Much to Clark's chagrin Perry answers with a honest yet cynical declaration that "the American conscious died with Robert [F. Kennedy], Martin [Luther King Jr.], and John [F. Kennedy]."

I don't know about you guys and girls, but I instantly took that as a challenge. If the American conscious is truly dead then it's because we killed it with our own complacency.

Turn onto CNN, FOX, or MSNBC. The various news outlets of today has become the reality tv entertainment shows of the politics world. Regurgatting the popular he-said she-said of the day instead of giving us, the people, the facts. Who are the candiates? Why are they running? What are their policies? Have they been consistent? Why should these policies matter to us? Are they lying? Are they telling the truth? In short the media, like good old Clark Kent, should the bulwark between democracy and tyranny.

And this is where Senator Finch comes in. For a democracy to work we have to talk to each other. We have to make our voices heard and politicians should act on the consent and authority of the governed. It's easy to turn on the news and shake your head at it. Either because of the misery going on in the world or the lack of action taken to curb that misery. To scoff at the lies of omission or the sensationalist yellow journalism that has all but corrupted the media.

It's a lot harder to stand for Truth, Justice, and to Hope that these ideals are achieveable in these days and times.

So the next time you open your mouth to say "Superman is boring" or think to yourself that "Superman is dead" or you hear someone say "Superman is lame" then you should remind yourself that way made him that way by being complacent. We killed him because we stopped caring.

I happen to believe Superman is alive and well. And I Hope that in time others see things the way that I choose to.

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#2 Edited by UltimateSMfan (2377 posts) - - Show Bio

Nicely written.

I wish there was just a standalone Superman sequel discussing all this stuff. There should've been more of it and not a dropped plot. The subtext for it was present in BvS but one would need some giant digging machine to find it. If it was a little more fleshed out and if Superman himself, not in the guise of Clark Kent were to express some kind of idealism challenging this outlook, t'woulda been something to behold.

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#3 Posted by tcrighton (193 posts) - - Show Bio

I am glad I found this post. I share a lot of your opinions. I would go even farther and state that Batman represents the xenophobia that comes with societies that communicate globally. Superman represents the high road. It is not the easy road, but it is the road that he must take--any other road is detrimental to humanity. Personally, I believe if someone like Superman existed, this person would transcend the laws of man and we would have to live with that. Wonder Woman brilliantly represents the combination of Batman and Superman's ideals. She understands the power Superman has, but also understands the animosity that Batman has towards him. Brilliant movie. I really liked it.

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