Psychoanalysis of the Joker Essay

932 Words Dec 12th, 2010 4 Pages
The Dark Knight is a 2008 film based on the Dc Comics character Batman and his struggle and journey in combating the most demented villain ever, The Joker. The Joker is a psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy. Due to The Joker’s insane nature, it is appropriate to use Dr. Sigmund Freud’s method of Psychoanalysis to better understand why The Joker is the way he is.
What is psychoanalysis? Psychoanalysis is a form of treatment invented by Sigmund Freud that usually focuses on the early years of the patient’s life and his/her relationship with immediate family members. A wise man once said, “There are four questions that every good student of psychology will ask about a personality theory. The first question
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In this quote from the movie The Joker is basically mocking everyone else for having a superego. Twice in the movie the Joker explains how he got his scars. He first says that his father was an abusive drunk that asked his son “why so serious?” and proceeded to cut The Joker’s face. He said that he hated his father. When Freud says that the superego is based on the authority of the father, the Joker’s reactive attachment to his father would explain why he did not develop societal norms (Psychoanalysis of The Joker). It seems as though from an early age The Joker let his id control his personality and with a broken ego he experiences a detachment from reality.
The second question is the motivation. What would motivate someone to kill innocent people without thinking twice? The id is a primitive native to seek pleasure (Id,ego,and superego). “Some men just like to watch the world burn” (The Dark Knight) says Alfred to Bruce Wayne after he is thinking of The Joker’s motivation. The Joker has a hatred for society. Freud will definitely notice all of The Joker’s defense mechanisms. Defense mechanisms are the process by which the contents of our unconscious are kept in the unconscious (Tyson). The Joker experiences almost all of them in The Dark Knight. He experiences denial when someone calls him crazy, and he right away repeats to him self “No! No I’m not!” (The Dark Knight). The Joker also uses selective memory when describing how he got his scars.

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