Article Title

Do Some Men Just Want to Watch the World Burn? Narratives of Fear and the War on Terror in The Dark Knight Trilogy


The Dark Knight Trilogy, directed by Christopher Nolan, while at first glance a mere fantasy story about a costumed crime-fighter, hold a much deeper meaning as the films examine the government constructed War on Terror. The authorities who hold power over Gotham City continually attempt to maintain control but are thwarted by various “villains”, serving as direct and indirect representations of real world terrorists and terrorism groups. Because of the terrorists’ innovative and technologically advanced methods, the authorities and, by extension Batman, resort to continually new and often questionable means of exerting power to maintain seemingly legitimate control, justifying it as “Part of the Plan.” The governmental authorities attempt to keep Gotham as a football-loving American city identified as “Self” while characterizing the villains as “Others.” With Batman in a morally uncertain middle ground, the films provide an exploration of how authority legitimizes itself in a constantly changing political landscape.

DAVID BROOKS has recently completed a BA in Political Science from Huron University College and is currently studying business at the Ivey Business School. He enjoys examining inter-connections between business, government, and cultural productions.

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