Watchmen Dialectical Journal
The Comedian’s bloodstained button (9)
The first panel of Watchmen is centered on a yellow smiley face button which is revealed to have belonged to the Comedian. The yellow button is an icon, representing a smiling face, showing peace and happiness within the world. Resting on the face of the button is blood splattered across it. The juxtaposition of the red and the yellow shows the contrast between the anger and the peace in the world. The blood resting atop of the button represents the anger and destruction that has finally come to light in what was once viewed as a peaceful society.
Placement of Ozymandias figurines (26)
After Rorschach meets with Ozymandias, a large panel focuses on Veidt looking out of the window of his office. On his desk, is a newspaper surrounded by three Ozymandias figurines and other merchandise. The newspaper article is titled “Nuclear Doomsday Clock Stands at Five to Twelve Warn Experts.” This is the first direct reference to the doomsday clock in Watchmen. The Ozymandias figurines surrounding the article shows them protecting the article, foreshadowing Adrian Veidt’s plan to get rid of the Watchmen and destroy the world.
“Thank you, Denise. This book is dedicated to you, because I don’t know how to choose between all the other people I should be dedicating it to” (35).
The end of Chapter 1 of Watchmen features an excerpt from an autobiography of one of the characters, Hollis Mason. Mason’s reference to Under the Hood shows his awareness of the book. This makes Under the Hood an example of metafiction in Watchmen. By making Under the Hood an example of metafiction, Hollis Mason must have an explicit reasoning for writing the book since he is aware that he is writing it.
“I’ve heard all the psychologists’ theories, and I’ve heard all the jokes and rumors and the innuendo but when it comes down to for me is that I dressed up like an owl and fought crime because it was fun and because it needed doing and because I goddam felt like it” (39).
Hollis Mason claims that the only reason he became a vigilante was because he liked it. His reasoning strongly contrasts with Rorschach’s and the reference to psychologists’ theories is a parallel to Chapter
6 after Rorschach is arrested by the police and goes through a psychological examination. Unlike Rorschach, Mason does not have a traumatizing backstory as to why he took on the persona of Nite Owl, but instead claims that he became the Nite Owl because it was fun for him.
“I guess [the Comedian] finally reached the punchline, huh?” (43).
Laurie says this to her mother regarding the death of the Comedian. Her comment is an example of black humor. The use of black humor in this situation shows Laurie’s stance on the Comedian. Her joke about his death shows her abhorrence towards him.
“I mean, if we’d lost this war… I dunno. I think it might have driven us a little crazy, y’know? As a country (55)....