After watching The Dark Knight so many times, I’ve come to understand a few things:
1. They depict human psychology and mob morality incredibly well. People need a reason. Whether to blame our problems or to motivate us to action.
2. People are inherently selfish. Even Batman initially wanted to save Rachel, knowing that they could never be together if Dent died. He had to overcome the urge so he could make the decision that he knew was right from the beginning.
If Dent had died, he would have died the hero, and never lived to become the villain. It’s significant because it was his quote.
3. Evil will always exist. There is no yin without a at least a little yang, and vice versa. When you try to extinguish evil, like trying to do anything positive in life, there will be resistance. In Bats’s case, he created The Joker.
It took me till today to realize Alfred never let Bruce read Rachel’s letter saying she knew they could never be. She saw he would always need Batman. Sometimes we have goals or passions in life that take us down rabbit holes and make us forget why we started chasing them at all.
Evil will always exist.
That one cut me deep upon realization. Alfred’s story about the bandit and the story’s resolution made it obvious to me.
A refresher on the story;
A long time ago,
Alfred was working in Burma for the local government trying to buy the loyalty of tribal leaders by bribing them with precious stones. But their caravans kept getting robbed by a bandit. Alfred’s team went looking for the stones but never met anyone who traded with the bandit. One day, he saw a child playing with a ruby the size of a tangerine. The bandit had been throwing them away. He stole them for fun. Some men aren’t looking for anything logical like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with.
Some men just want to watch the world burn.
They eventually caught up to him.
The only way the could catch the bandit was to burn the entire forest down.
From this, I take that in any civilization (the forest) there will always exist an inextinguishable evil (the bandit), the flame that keeps the people’s sense of justice alive. In order to put out that flame, you need to exhaust its fuel supply, the entire forest. The entire civilization must be destroyed. If you’re not careful with that flame, it could grow into the corruption that had become Gotham city and destroy itself from within.
You must guard that flame, treasure it, because it is the most precious part of civilization. But you must not guard it from dying. You must guard it from growing wickedly into a twisted or distorted sense of morality. Must keep it from becoming another Ra’s Al Ghul or Joker or Batman.
That is why the pilot light of justice is so dangerous.