Talk about the Watchmen comic book mini-series and film
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:04 pm 
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On the subject of Jon's estrangement from his father:

Osterman Snr. did push his son into a career in science... but it then took Jon a full decade of undoubted personal dedication, self sacrifice and hard work before he gained his doctorate in atomic physics. Certainly no mean feat and one can reasonably imagine nigh on impossible to achieve if the student does not develop his own sense of commitment and devotion - of love - for the subject matter at hand. Under such circumstances, surely Jon can be expected to have been very grateful to his father for leading him on such a path and would have wanted to express his gratitude accordingly?

The alternative argument is that Jon spent a gruelling ten years pushing himself to achieve academic excellence purely out of an innate sense of duty towards his father, needing to please him because he knew this is what the old man wanted for him and feeling unable to disappoint. This second scenario certainly highlights an obvious character trait that was to also dominate the character's later Dr. Manhattan persona: that he is beholden to the demands of others and acts in unswerving compliance to external influences... the inherent irony of being as a god but with no free will of his own; by Manhattan's own admission still "...just a puppet".
Jon was simply emotionally unable to fight against his father's wishes and had to obey, whatever the cost to himself.

In the first instance, I doubt that Jon would have been in any way estranged from his father during his years in education.
In the second case, it can be argued that Jon was very likely emotionally estranged from his parent but would nonetheless have been unable to turn this into actual physical detachment and avoidance on account of his own personal lack of mettle.
Either way, I predict that Mr. Osterman would ultimately have been present at his son's graduation day because Jon willingly invited him or didn't have the fortitude not to.

And why did Manhattan not tell Osterman Snr. the truth of his existence?

Consider this:

Whether he genuinely cared for his father or still felt dominated and therefore controlled by his influence, the fact remains that Manhattan knew of the precise time and circumstances of his father's death from the very moment of his own 'rebirth', i.e. a full ten years before the actual death itself took place. Manhattan had already continuously experienced the moment of receiving news of his father's death and will forever relive the event throughout his entire lifespan, not just as a mere memory but as if he is actually there for the very first time, every time... over and over and over...

Somewhat painful and/or awkward having to then conceal this knowledge from your father once he's found out that his own son is now an all-powerful being with god-like abilities... but a god that is nonetheless unable/unwilling to act upon that knowledge because he tells you that he cannot since his own actions and reactions to events are predetermined and so will not do anything to prevent his father dying in clear distress and likely pain alone in a hospital bed in a mere ten year's time.

"Hello dad. I've got some good news and some bad news for you. First... I'm not dead. Second, however..."

Even Dr. Manhattan doesn't need that kinda shit in his quantum-powered omnipotent life... especially if he's really got to deal with it forever.

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 10:20 pm 
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AYBGerrardo wrote:
True enough in that he refers to the "cogs... falling on Brooklyn" as "seeds of the future, sown carelessly". But I don't think he specifically blames his father above anyone else. I think he actually highlights the futility of blaming anyone:


Interesting to note, though, that he excludes Janey. Superman he may be, but emotion runs through his logic. I'd go as far as saying that his detachment is merely a mask hiding the reality, its opposite - deep emotion that he's lost control of.

Surely estrangement fits that description somewhat nicely. He may well have been estranged from his father long before the accident - at least, that's the way I read it - because after the cog incident there's never any mention of the father until his death, completely alone.

It definitely seems to to place emotion as part of the answer, but that is also tempered by his understanding of cause and effect. The fat man started the chain of events towards the accident. Jon's mistake let him be locked in, and his father chose his profession which led to it all. As far as Janey is concerned, she seems to have has suffered enough for him to blame.

The fat man, and Jon's mistake were basically just chance events that are hard to blame in themselves, but the question is why he didn't tell his father. If he seems to blame each event equally, then there is still some blame to go around for all. Not telling his father was just that... he didn't have to, and some blame can remain.

Sometimes the difference between a good joke and a bad joke, depends on its delivery!

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