Originally Posted by BatLobsterRises
Would you agree though that he was at least ambivalent and callous towards it? The whole point of his escape from the pit was to get back in touch with that primal fear of dying, which is what finally gave him the will to live again in the end.
In order for that to have any meaning, it's almost necessary to consider the fact that Bruce was pretty much okay with death. Like Bane says, "You don't fear death...you welcome it." Why shouldn't that be true? It gives context to what Bruce has to overcome in the film.
Not fearing death is different from seeking it. Seeking it is speculation on Alfred's part, and I don't find it substantiated by anything Bruce says or does. Quite the opposite. He wants to repair himself and save Gotham. How flimsy is that mission - one he spent his whole life on - if he really just wants to die and therefore let Gotham fall?
It's in direct conflict with both his nature and his desire. To me, that is crystal clear. Alfred was just wrong. He was panicking, lost faith.
Bane says he welcomes it, but you could more accurately take that as an attitude of 'bring it on, I'll put everything on the line to stop you, even my life', because that's the only behavior demonstrated in the movie. 'I want to die' isn't. Bane is describing selfless heroism, not suicidal urges.
One could say, 'Well, Nolan is clearly trying to illustrate it by having other characters say so even if Bruce doesn't'. But how many times are other characters dead wrong about who and what Bruce is and how he feels? Even Selina misjudged him on multiple counts in the same film, so I don't find that angle holds much weight.
Blake and Lucius are the only characters who seem to actually get
Bruce in Rises.