Originally Posted by BatLobsterRises
Yeah, I think part of the idea is that when Bruce is left with no way to be productive and fight his demons, he's forced into a corner with all these unresolved issues eating him up inside. I think that's why a lot of people mistakenly believed he quit simply because he was sad about Rachel.
There's no reason for anyone to think that because the ACTUAL reason is spelled out in the movie:
Gordon: "We were in this together. Then you were gone"
Bruce: "The Batman wasn't needed any more. We won"
Rachel never came into the Batman equation. If you're talking about why did he give up on life as Bruce Wayne, they do hammer the Rachel point home more than anything else on that score.
Alfred: "You hung up your cape and your cowl but you never moved on. You never went to find a life. To find someone"
Bruce: "Alfred, I did find someone"
Alfred: "I know, and you lost 'em. But that's all part of living. But you're not living. You're just waiting around hoping for things to go bad again"
Alfred: "You used to talk about finishing. About a life beyond that awful cave"
Bruce: "Alfred, Rachel died knowing we had decided to be together. That was my life beyond the cave
. I can't just move on. She didn't. She couldn't"
Can't get more clear than that. Facts are facts. The energy project sounds like something he tried to bury himself in as an alternative to helping the city since he wasn't needed as Batman any more. When that fell through he just threw in the towel altogether.