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The Abyss Gazes Also: A psychological analysis of Rorschach in Alan Moore’s Watchmen
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


There is a common assumption that graphic novels belong to the category of children’s literature, however that statement is no longer true. Indeed, the genre of the graphic novel has progressed and taken on a more serious approach, this due to largely one author, Alan Moore. Despite ever-increasing research on Moore’s famous graphic novel Watchmen, not many have touched upon Gothic influences on the novel and what effect this genre has on the characters, especially the character of Rorschach. Instead, Watchmen is often associated with such genres as political thriller, science fiction and postmodern literature. This essay will show the presence of Gothicism through an analysis of one of the main protagonists, Walter Kovacs, better known as Rorschach. I employ the well-known theories of psychoanalysis developed by Sigmund Freud. I discuss conceptual implications of the method called the Rorschach test developed by Herman Rorschach in order to deepen the psychoanalytic relevance for the Gothic elements. Furthermore, Freudian analysis of the uncanny proved to be especially useful in the analysis. Uncanny is the fearful recognition of unsettling thoughts that tell you to give in to the animalistic urge to kill, destroy and exact vengeance. The uncanny is largely the common ground between the Gothic genre and psychoanalysis, and is crucial for a deeper understanding of the novel and of Rorschach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 16 p.
Keyword [en]
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-61598OAI: diva2:436508
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2011-08-24 Created: 2011-08-23 Last updated: 2011-08-24Bibliographically approved

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