Re: The Joker's background?
The umbrella obsession, as well as the bird obsession, started in his childhood. They are too separate things however, but started when he was a boy.
His mother I think was a worrywort, and gave him the umbrella for his health.
Interesting in that is, that umbrellas are associated with water, and so are penguins. So the Iceburg Lounge holds a great deal of significance for him.
Also, the umbrella is sometimes commonly associated with gentlemen in suits. Penguin considers himself a gentleman of crime, so keeping the umbrella carries a significance for him. It holds association with water, childhood and upper class folk. Those are traits in the Penguin's personality.
His obsession with birds, comes from his childhood taunts. He had a beaky nose, etc. He was called bird boy and things like that. But why did he call himself Penguin? What significance did that title hold for him?
Strange as it may sound to us, he took that by every little detail in his life. Oswald declared himself The Penguin, nobody else did. He obviously recognised as a child, that he did resemble a bird. That has stuck with him a long time.
So by associating his umbrella with suits and ties, upper class people. I believe he put on a suit and though to himself
"I look like a Penguin"
However. Rather than letting his upset and pain get to him, he obviously tried to turn everything about him into respect. He looked like what he was, a penguin, and that was going to be his calling card. The title of childhood bullying, used as a title of recognition for power, money and respect.
So the bullied and angry Oswald became the criminal known as the Penguin, and the sad and lonely Oswald became a respectable and well-liked citizen.
"My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone. "