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The Monster of Watchmen: The Societal Fears of Cold War Era America in Perspective

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Written by the comic book legends, Dave Gibbons and the acclaimed Alan Moore, the graphic novel, Watchmen, in 1986, contains several complex characters that have almost single-handedly transformed the comic book medium [Effron]. Moore took the superhero archetype, which was once written off as to be simple-minded and childish, and created would-be heroes with deep and complex psychological profiles. Many still continue to ponder over the unanswered symbolism about characters, and paintings depicted. But the question that'll be addressed in this character analysis will pertain to Ozymandias' actions. Where his actions justified by his intentions? Did it all worked out in the end? Was he the graphic novel's true hero, or was he a monster? Because both sides of these arguments can be sufficiently supported with textual evidence, it is the reader's responsibility to defend an appropriate answer. But, most importantly, how did Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias) represent the social fears and values of Cold War era America? How did he reflect America's fear of Communist invasion, nuclear holocaust and overall fear of their national security. How was he a representation of the country's values and needs to be a global icon of good, and at times narcissism?

The year is 1985 and tensions between the United States and Communist Russia could not be higher. The general population wants out. As depicted in both the comic and reality, nuclear war is looming and the world is terrified. The very thought that the Soviets can launch nuclear warheads at any given moment has Americans building fallout bases, practicing atomic bomb drills, and preparing for general chaos; fear has blinded the people. They are willing to do anything for world peace, no matter how short-sighted. Ozymandias is the embodiment of this fear, this impatience and lack of forethought. He shares this need of peace and security amongst the Americans. And like how America, at the time, saw itself as the "protector of democracy" and the model country of the world, Adrian's narcissism demanded him to be the grandiose bringer of peace.

The Vietnam War can be described as inhumane, excessive, atrocious, and unnecessary. The amount of American life lost was overwhelming and the end result was not worth it. The war was a cause of impulse decision making, a short-sighted plot meant to contain communism, but in no means was this a well fleshed out plan to eradicate this evil. In many regards, Veidt is as rash as the American government and general populace. As many know, during the Cold War, the East is torn from the West hemisphere, and Adrian believes he can reunite the two to obtain global peace. Through his methods, though he creates a monster out of himself. He decides, that in order to create a utopian society he must first unify the world. In order to do so, however, he must make a situation so horrendous, so horrible that the entire would have



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