EDITORIAL: The symbolism behind Watchmen?

EDITORIAL: The symbolism behind Watchmen?

Recently reading Watchmen,and then watching the movie,I have come across opinions containing differences between the comic and the movie,and noticed that the story changes that were in the movie,were purposely in the book,for an important reason,a point,or even a symbolic reason?


Recently reading Watchmen,and then watching the movie,I have come across opinions containing differences between the comic and the movie,and noticed that the story changes that were in the movie,were purposely in the book,for an important reason,a point,or even a symbolic reason?

1 - The Altered Squid:

The giant squid in the end of this story was one of the biggest changes of the book that was in the movie,and a change that viewers were glad with,and probably shouldn't have been,simply because this situation could have well been purposely in the story for a symbolic or important reason.Zack Snyder,and the writers of the movie,obviously didn't understand or get the book at all;might have been able to visually adapt it accuarately,but didn't understand it,but on to the point,in the movie,the destruction was a nuclear powered explosion by Ozymandias to save the world and blaming it on Dr.Manhattan.In the comic,it was an altered giant squid created by Ozymandias,to kill the life off of New York,attempting to accomplish saving the world from themselves,and maybe this shouldn't have been changed in the movie.First,this shouldn't have been changed,because no one would think or be able to connect to this,unlike the movie,where it would be easy to figure out.Next,the movie version makes it seem as if Adrian Veidt is not the smartest man,like the book made it seem as if he were the smartest man,showing that he is truly intelligent by putting a squid on earth rather than an explosion that would take an ordinary person to figure out.Finally,it would be easy for Ozymandias to cause an explosion and put the blame on Dr.manhattan,but it wouldn't be for him to create a giant squid,killing all life,and no one knowing.So,this was most likely to symbolize that Ozymandias is truly the smartest man in the world.

2 - The Death of Rorschach:

Many were happy with the change to the death of Rorschach in the movie,apart from the comic version,and most thought of it as a good thing,but all it shows is that again,Zack Snyder and the writers do not understand the comic,but just want to appeal to opinions,rather than staying true to the importance of why it was.In the movie,Rorschach is killed by Dr.Manhattan,while Night Owl 2 witnesses it,but in the comic,Rorschach is killed by Dr.Manhattan,and Night Owl 2 has no knowledge and never knew it happened.This should have not been changed for the following reasons:Rorschach states earlier in the book that violent lives end violently,and this was deeply expressed in this part.Also,rorschach led a violent life,so it ended violent,as well as lonely.Next,loneliness was also expressed in this part,showing that violent lives end in loneliness,just like the Comedian.So,this symbolism was that Rorschach was the true hero,and willing to die because of it.


Charles Bryant
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Member Since 3/26/2012
Filed Under "Watchmen" 3/26/2012
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CorndogBurglar - 3/27/2012, 9:52 AM
I disagree with the squid. The entire point of Ozy's plan was to unite the world against a common threat.

The world already questioned Dr. Manhattan's motives, and throughout the story (through Veidt's scheming) the world slowly lost their trust in him.

By making it look like the explosions in the movie were caused by Dr.Manhattan's energy signature, he was pretty much playing upon the distrust that was already there in the people of the world. Pretty smart if you ask me.

Also, you're overlooking a very important point. In the book, Ozy created one squid and had it explode in the heart of New York. In the movie, Ozy caused numerous explosions all over the world. This would have caused the nations of the world to ban together much easier than just blowing up New York. Not every country would have been willing to unify if that were the case. But being that the entire world was attacked, the nations would have to be fools to not unify.

So, basically, using Manhattan's energy signature to cause the damage worldwide not only makes more sense, but it is actually the better ending.
CorndogBurglar - 3/27/2012, 9:56 AM
Also, you claim that the squid would have been harder for people figure out that Ozy was behind it all. I also disagree with that.

Everyone already feared, questioned, and totally distrusted Doc Manhattan. If they saw that his energy signature was what caused the explosions, it would take absolutely no convincing to get the people of the world to think it was Doc Manhattan. No one would question it because that seed of doubt is already there.

With the squid, you're talking about something that no one has ever seen before. EVERYONE would question where it came from, and would investigate it, which would eventually lead to Ozy.
GOTG - 3/27/2012, 10:24 AM
GoodGuy - 3/27/2012, 12:59 PM
It's always nice to see someone finding the literary value in a comic book (movie). With that out of the way, I'd have to agree with all of @CorndogBurglar.

For the point about Zack Snyder not understanding the themes of the comic, I'd have to disagree with you on that one. I think you somewhat forget the fact that part of the beauty of literature is the fact that unless the author explicitly states all the themes in great detail, different people will have different interpretations of the messages of the story. In this case, Zack Snyder pulled out a lot of the society and hero complex questioning themes and presented it in a personalized way. I think the flaw with your argument is that you think Zack Snyder does not get theme, simply because he did not interpret it the same way you did.

I may have disagreed with your whole article but don't think that I didn't like it, because I did. I appreciate the fact your willing to share your interpretations of a rather deep story.
Jollem - 3/27/2012, 2:32 PM
article appreciated. i would just like to note that zack snyder is very much a person that does his homework on the subjects he is making a movie about. check out the trivia sections of imdb on dawn of the dead or watchmen. also, i believe when we first see dr. manhattan talking to ozy through a monitor, on the bomb you can see writing on it. the writing on the bomb says something like; Sub Quantum Unifying something, something..... an acronym for S.Q.U.I.D. also, for a little bit when the bomb is blowing up, it seems to have many tentacles coming from it. i also liked the part mr. snyder added in the movie with night owl 1 reliving his glory days before he gets whacked. touching.
DukeAcureds - 3/27/2012, 7:32 PM
I agree with both sides of the arguement.
The one thing that tends to get overlooked is the obvious; The Squid is the classic antithesis of the Pirates. The leviathan. So, as they cut the pirates out of the theatrical release, it stands to reason that the squid no longer belongs.
Also the nukes are consistant with the themes of the book. The whole Cold War thing, the enrgy question and the politics of Superpowers. In all of these themes, the new ending is reflective.
The religious fear of Dr. Manhattan is also paid off. The questions of religion that the book raises are dealt with, as society has a new god to keep the order of their laws running like clockwork.
But the fact that Veidt tries to avoid a nuclear winter by creating one? Can't quite get my head around that.
And the beautiful-horrible imagery of the closing chapter was also lost.
Christuffer - 3/27/2012, 10:27 PM
You bring up some very valid points. While I can't agree that Snyder and co. did not understand the book's meaning or themes, because I don't know them, I can see how that assumption could be made apparent through the film.
The squid, I could care less about. If anything, the giant squid might have just confused normal people.

But -- I did like Rorschach's death in the film. To me, it created an emotional connection to Rorschach for people that didn't read the book. I will agree that Rorschach is the true hero though. In a way, he was the only one that stayed true the whole way through
TheBatman3000 - 10/24/2012, 3:44 AM
i completely agree with CorndogBurglar
and i liked how Nite Owl saw his friend get exploded and just know the horror he lives in...and actually being pissed off at Ozzy...and punching him over and over and saying you [frick]ed the world basically..and him leaving with disgust...instead of the totally hippie ending with him and Silk..just naked on the floor and being like...oh we're kind of okay with it. i thought Zach made it a bit more human..but don't get me wrong though..i loved the book...just i loved the changes done by the movie

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