Sunday, July 24, 2005
Ducard: But if you make yourself more than a man, you become something else altogether.
Wayne: And what is that?
Ducard: A legend, Mr Wayne.
David and I were talking about legends at the recent reunion at Sam's. It all started when we realised he was known by d'NAers he'd never met, as a philosopher whose mind is beyond understanding, or else some deep, complex guy who is indecipherable.
In other words, David had become a legend, which he defines as a state of being, in which a person's reputation goes way before his presence. Perhaps each of us are legends within certain circles, especially those in which we have had--and maybe even still have--great influence.
And when a person becomes a legend, he becomes vulnerable. On the one hand, a legend must perpetuate his own great myth to remain a legend; to admit any sense of parity with 'normal' people would be to deny the great 'legend' mantle he wears.
But the truth is, all legends--especially the great ones--do not walk alone. We all know that Batman is the only hero without a superpower. And more than any other hero, we see a broken man, held together in no small measure by the faithful and fatherly Alfred.
Batman Begins actually goes a long way to show the emotional core of Batman, and the true role Alfred plays in Bruce Wayne's life: not that of a butler, but of a friend. As I'd written in an earlier entry, Alfred says to Bruce near the climax of the movie:
Alfred: Why do we fall, Master Wayne? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.
Bruce: You haven't given up on me, have you, Alfred?
Maybe, at this point in life, I can identify with Bruce/Batman quite a bit (and NOT because we share the same initials!). In some circles, I have become legendary; people think I'm smarter and more capable than I really am, hence the flurry of assignments from all corners of the school.
If not for the Alfreds who continue to encourage me, who know the real Ben beneath the public facade, I do not know where I would be now. Maybe still stuck in that cave, or in my own world of remorse, guilt and darkness.
By the way, if you haven't watched the movie, go and watch it! Even if you don't like Batman. As one critic put it, this is the story of the Dark Knight, not the Caped Crusader. It really makes for great philosophical conversation.
Posted by SimianD at 8:38 PM