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Identifying the Self in The Watchmen

            Whether the "Self" can be truly grasped by the human mind or not, is a question within philosophy that has led to the composition of various theories on the subject. Through the Watchmen's unrelentingly human story, and distinctly natural characters, their flawed personalities provide the possibility for discussion on true self. Moreover, by identifying these aspects of The Watchmen, along with the use of philosophies ranging from philosophers like Lao-tzu, Martin Heidegger, and Kierkegaard. The main question in interpreting the Watchmen philosophically, revolves around whether or not one can find true self through logical means, or if there must be metaphysical influence or ability, in order to do so? From within the graphic novel, this philosophical question is dealt with through Dr. Manhattan, Rorschach, and the Comedian. Each character introduces another aspect of the exploration of the self and the process of discovery. Rorschach identifies with the possible necessary human flaw involved in finding or coming into contact with self; whereas the Comedian is at the mercy of his thoughts of convincement to himself, in regards to his simple persona as being a representation of his true self. Dr. Manhattan attempts to find his "true self" through alienating himself, literally, by going to mars; on mars, where he then delves into thoughts of his past human form where his self actually lies. Rorschach and the Comedian are viewed differently by readers, because their innate sense of self; making the answering of the question not as clear as Dr. Manhattan's underlying messages from his flashbacks. .
             Dr. Manhattan or John, does not discover self, because his self lies within his human form; the human form is what Dr. Manhattan grows more distant from throughout the plot. However, whether he does discover self or not, relies on the perception of the reader. Because Dr. Manhattan loses touch with time, he chooses to abandon its relevance, in order to evolve and establish a new sense of self.

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