The Dark Knight Batman's internal identity struggle

You could do it to mirror the Jokers madness. Batman's strength is maintaining his control. 'Losing to the monster' would be his ultimate defeat and the sweetest victory for the Joker.
 
Of course Bruce has mental illness, people lose their parents all the time to violence. Most of them don't end up fighting crime because of it.
 
Kritish said:
Of course Bruce has mental illness, people lose their parents all the time to violence. Most of them don't end up fighting crime because of it.

I don't know if that means he's got a mental illness, though. Different people respond differently to the same things. On some level everybody's nuts, but there are specific guidelines that determine if one is clinically nuts, or just normally nuts.

I admit that swearing a personal vendetta against all crime does not seem like a normal thing to do. But you know, if the same thing happened to a guy named Bill Frank, and he decided to become a monk and dedicate his life to God, and then tried to help other orphans of crime... would that mean that guy has a mental illness?

And for that matter, what is the normal, healthy response to being orphaned by crime? I think having an extreme response does not make one crazy.
 
Bill Frank doesn't beat people up whilst dressed as a bat.
 
Kritish said:
Bill Frank doesn't beat people up whilst dressed as a bat.

So you have to be crazy to want to beat people up?
 
Adam West said:
I like the idea that in TDK he starts out as both Bruce and Bats, but as Joker's crimes escalate Bruce begins to disappear until only Batman, completely obsessed with bringing Joker to Justice, exists.

Then in 3, after Dent becomes Two-face and Batman sees his ally get lost in a monster of his own, will he realize that he needs to step back and strike a balance between his alter-ego.


And that is a great way to resolve his internal identity struggle.


I really hope Nolan goes for this angle
 
Keyser Sushi said:
No, he does not.

I think it's really quite simple. The real Bruce Wayne is the man you see in the batcave in a black t-shirt spraying a coat of latex onto his ninja gauntlets while Alfred cracks wise. He's a Bruce Wayne who has no interest in being rich or a socialite; a Bruce Wayne who is very serious and haunted and seems largely humorless - betrayed at times by the wry smile when Alfred busts out with a great one-liner, as Alfred is known to do. That's the real Bruce Wayne.

Bruce then has to divide his public time into two halves. One half is Batman. Batman is absolutely a mask. He's basically an amped-up version of the real Bruce. But he's Bruce playing for scary. Bruce dressed as a bat, acting like some sort of beast, trying to scare the crap out of the bad guys. Theatrical.

The other half is playboy Bruce -- the ineffectual, largely inept socialite who is good for nothing but wooing young, beautiful ladies and spending large sums of money. He's a bit of a twit but basically a good guy, as evidenced by his philanthropism. This is also a mask, a disguise to draw attention away from the darker side of Bruce Wayne.

He uses Public Bruce to help those less fortunate in those humanitarian ways that only the very rich can, if they are of good heart. Meanwhile he uses his more violent urges - the stuff in the basement, as Rocky would put it - to fight crime and make the city safer, so that in that guise he also helps people and performs humanitarian work, in a completely different way.

This is the correct way to portray Batman - and regardless of what one thinks of Batman Begins, the three faces of Batman were perfectly realized in that film.

So, no to MPD. Yes to disguises.

With that said, it absolutely would be great story fodder to show Bruce growing weary of juggling his masks and getting sucked into the Batman guise -- which is probably his favorite mask, as it frees him from much of the baggage of being Bruce Wayne and allows him to just be... well, the Batman.



I agree with a lot of what you say, except that I don't think that the Batman persona is just a mask like the playboy persona.

The Batman persona is like the dark depths of the real Bruce Wayne. He's not just putting on a mask and acting. As Batman, he is letting out that dark side of him that developed since the death of his parents. Batman is a true part of himself.

His Batman VOICE is somewhat of an act, since it's not his natural voice, but let's not confuse Batman the character with a simple voice or a costume. Batman is more than those things, and when Bruce is out being Batman, he is out being himself.

Just because he acts very different around Alfred versus around a criminal doesn't mean he must be putting on an act when he's facing a criminal. It is normal to act different toward friend and enemy.

Basically, I don't think there are 3 personas, i.e. a fake Bruce, a real Bruce, and a fake Batman. I think that there are just 2 personas, i.e. a simple, shallow fake Brue Wayne persona, and a complex, deep real Bruce/Batman persona, which just seems like 2 seperate personas because of its complexity.
 
Adam West said:
I like the idea that in TDK he starts out as both Bruce and Bats, but as Joker's crimes escalate Bruce begins to disappear until only Batman, completely obsessed with bringing Joker to Justice, exists.

Then in 3, after Dent becomes Two-face and Batman sees his ally get lost in a monster of his own, will he realize that he needs to step back and strike a balance between his alter-ego.

Yeah, i like that. And he and Alfred could have an argument about like Alfred says:

ALFRED: Your parents would be heartbroken if they could see what you've become.

BRUCE: And what is that?

ALFRED: Obsessed, sir.

You know something like that.
 
Of course Batman has mental illnesses.

Well, it depends on the writer. But if you want to go a realistic route, then yeah, he most likely would. Most extremely traumatic events can be the cause of mental illnesses. Doesn't he have flashbacks to his parents being murdered all the time:huh: That's traumatic stress disorder.
I mean, can you imagine seeing your parents being shot in front of you.
It would **** up anybody. Plus, he lived in a giant mansion by himself with only Alfred for the rest of his childhood, and he never was the most popular kid, was he:huh: I imagine he has or does suffer from depression.

I imagine he'd have ptsd, and be obsessive compulsive, no doubt.
Plus, he seems kind of depressed sometimes. Why else does he brood around on buildings and crap all the time:huh:

Course I could see him being slightly Bi-polar also.
 
I think Batman is autistic. It makes perfect sense. Debilitated in some ways but mentally enhanced in others. And it's not a mental illness.

'Mentally ill people' are not usually good at maintaining dual identies, running corporations, studying a hundred arts and disciplines and planning complex strategies on a *consistent* basis. Keyword being consistent, like he's done it everyday his whole life. Mentally ill people fall apart and have trouble adapting to a wide variety of situations. Batman dosn't.
 
Leon the Professional said:
I agree with a lot of what you say, except that I don't think that the Batman persona is just a mask like the playboy persona.

I like your s/n. :up:

The Batman persona is like the dark depths of the real Bruce Wayne. He's not just putting on a mask and acting. As Batman, he is letting out that dark side of him that developed since the death of his parents. Batman is a true part of himself.

I wish The Guard were here. He has more patience with this sort of thing than I do. Okay. You say that as Batman, he's "not just putting on a mask and acting." Except that he is. Oh, you're right that it's the dark depths of the real Bruce Wayne. That all of that stuff is in him, and Batman is the way he expresses it. But actors usually will tell you that the only way they can perform convincingly is to pull the approriate emotions out of themselves, by dredging up powerful memories that evoke specific emotions. What Bruce is doing as Batman is letting out something that is inside himself, something that is very very real. Which is to say that his performance as Batman is 100% genuine because Batman is a part of him.

His Batman VOICE is somewhat of an act, since it's not his natural voice, but let's not confuse Batman the character with a simple voice or a costume. Batman is more than those things, and when Bruce is out being Batman, he is out being himself.

No, he's out being Batman.

Just because he acts very different around Alfred versus around a criminal doesn't mean he must be putting on an act when he's facing a criminal. It is normal to act different toward friend and enemy.

Yes, but look at the gentle way Batman treats the child in Begins. The way Batman acts toward a child is different from the way that private Bruce would act toward a child. Bruce would probably talk more. Batman doesn't say much but he doesn't have to; his costume is based on the notion that "criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot," the idea that their own human conscience evokes a feeling of guilt that makes them expect their bad deeds to catch up with them and take them to hell. If they believe that Batman is the personification of that, then the costume and the voice and such are doing their job. But a child has nothing to fear from Batman, and so what he sees is a hero.

When Bruce is with Alfred, he's just being himself. He doesn't have to pretend with Alfred. On the other hand, wearing a cape and a mask and talking like Clint Eastwood is a giant game of pretend.

Private Bruce smiles. Batman does not, at least not in a nice way. As I said, Batman is an amped-up version of the real Bruce. He's real Bruce, but with the contrast turned up, if that makes any sense.

Basically, I don't think there are 3 personas, i.e. a fake Bruce, a real Bruce, and a fake Batman. I think that there are just 2 personas, i.e. a simple, shallow fake Brue Wayne persona, and a complex, deep real Bruce/Batman persona, which just seems like 2 seperate personas because of its complexity.

That's fair, but by that logic one can take it further and say that there is only really one persona which is so complex it appears to be three; that is to say that even Public Bruce is a part of who Bruce Wayne truly is; because he is Thomas Wayne's son, he is rich, he need not work, he likes the ladies, he lives in a big house and he wants to help those less fortunate. That is all true of Bruce Wayne. If anything, Public Bruce is a distorted projection of one side of the true Bruce Wayne, and Batman is a distorted projection of the other side of the true Bruce Wayne.

One complex person. Three faces.
 
Im guessing Bruce will suffer from Post Traumatic Stress syndrome?

I know my neighbor(Army-National Guard) coming home from Iraq had to go through mental eval. when he came back from the war.
 
Personally, I don't think Batman has Post-Traumatic stress disorder, but is given some of the symptoms, not because he has it, but because it allows for the reader (or viewer) to relive key aspects of his life.

For example, Batman seemingly always has nightmares or flashbacks in the movies and comics, but it isn't because the write is actually giving him the symptoms of intrusion, it's so the reader's/viewer's know what happened, to give them backstory.

He has never shown signs of dissociation, except when he lost his memory in Identity Crisis, but that was completely different since they were magically taken away.

The closest thing he has to symptoms would be withdrawal, but that's technically not enoughto diagnose a specific mental illness (usually).


As for him having autism: No. One of the main diagnoses of autism is that it has to happen before the age of 3, it's physical, not something that can happen due to traumatic events.


As for multiple personality disorder (or DID), he doesn't have that either. You have to remember that even though he has a "secret identity" he is still always thinking the same way no matter if he is acting like public Bruce Wayne or Batman. If he had DID, then when Bruce Wayne is at a party, and it is taken over by criminals, he wouldn't know what the hell to do, as opposed to fighting them and getting away so he can change into his Batman costume. ALso, many people with DID experience memory loss when they other personalities takes over.
 

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