Writ 140 A2

Writ 140 A2 - Tradonsky 1 Brad Tradonsky Dr David Tomkins...

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Tradonsky 1 Brad Tradonsky Dr. David Tomkins Writing 140 February 12 th 2012 Gordon’s Dark Justice in The Dark Night Not everyone agrees on what justice is. The Merriam Webster Online dictionary defines justice to be “ the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness.” Yet, not everyone will approve of this particular definition (there are literally thousands of other dictionaries with different definitions of the word). Besides, even those with similar understandings of what justice is may have varying ideas as to how their version of justice should be enforced. In Christopher Nolan’s film The Dark Night three different versions of justice are represented by the three protagonists: Batman, Police Lieutenant Jim Gordon, and District Attorney Harvey Dent. These distinctive kinds of justice aren’t juxtaposed with one another to send viewers a message that everyone can have their own working definition of justice. Rather, they are placed side by side and compared to each other to highlight the inadequacies of certain systems of justice; the film makes viewers ask themselves about the accompanying costs of the different versions of justice. Despite it’s title, the only type of justice that can be said to triumph over evil and chaos in The Dark Night is Lieutenant Gordon’s justice which allows for both Batman and Dent to play an important role in restoring order, but ultimately recognizes that neither one alone would be sufficient to allow justice to prevail. It is important to examine the intricacies of the three types of justice being presented to us by Nolan through the use of Batman, Dent, and Gordon. According to the tale, Batman watched his parents be murdered as a child. This instilled him with a trusty moral compass which he uses
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2 as his only guide when executing justice In regards to implementing justice, “Batman has no limits.” Although we are merely told this at the beginning of the film there are countless cases during the movie when Batman proves this statement true. No ordinary enforcer of the law would have the power to extradite a criminal avoiding American authorities in Hong Kong by literally dragging by force back to the States. Nor could a mere public servant interrogate the Joker in the violent manner Batman does. A masked vigilante, in this case Batman, is capable of doing these things because he operates outside the boundaries of the legal system, using only his morality as his code of justice. Dent, on the other hand, is almost a complete foil of Batman. He doesn’t use his moral code to usher him to justice, but rather relies solely on the legal code of the land as a guide to ensure what he is doing is just. In one scene, for example, Dent uses his comprehensive understanding of the law and legal system to put hundreds of criminals behind bars in one go by realizing that since all of the conspirators pooled their money together he can charge them as one entity: “RICO. If they pooled their money we can charge them as one criminal conspiracy…In a
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Writ 140 A2 - Tradonsky 1 Brad Tradonsky Dr David Tomkins...

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