Literature Study GuidesWatchmenVeidt Enterprises Correspondence Summary

Watchmen | Study Guide

Alan Moore

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Watchmen | Veidt Enterprises Correspondence | Summary

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Summary

The final grouping of realia is business correspondence between Adrian Veidt and the presidents of various departments in his company. The head of Marketing and Development shares a brochure for proposed additions to the Ozymandias action figure line, and the director of Veidt Cosmetics and Toiletries suggests a departure from the Nostalgia line of fragrances. The final document is a sales piece for the Veidt Method self-improvement program.

Analysis

Adrian has no qualms about earning money from his Ozymandias persona, but he's not willing to overstep legal and social boundaries by putting images of his friends and foe up for sale. That may not change how Rorschach views him—in Chapter 1 he accuses Veidt of being no better than a prostitute—but it demonstrates Veidt isn't willing to compromise his ethics to make a buck. In his letter to the marketing department, however, Veidt doesn't mention any moral problems with the proposal; he instead says he doesn't want to make Rorschach and Nite Owl into action figures because "[t]he American public has never really gone in for super-heroes in a big way." That's only partially true. Superheroes were all the rage in the late 1930s and 1940s, but public sentiment turned when a more cynical and technologically advanced breed of heroes was introduced in the 1960s.

Adrian's letter to the marketing department also indicates how closely his business decisions are tied to the global mood. He is eager to release a new line of action figures because history suggests "an increase in the sale of soldiers and action figures" during times of political and militaristic upheaval. Likewise, sales figures show Nostalgia perfume's success is due partly to ads exhorting customers to look to the past as a source of happiness. Adrian knows this worldwide longing for the old days will fade after he unveils his master plan for de-escalating the threat of nuclear war, which is why he suggests a new line of cosmetics that "[project] a vision of a technological Utopia." Adrian might be one of the more moral and ethical business people of the moment, but even when world peace is at stake he won't completely sacrifice his capitalistic instincts.

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