Another Day in the Life

Today, we began class by discussing the nutritional value of Pop Tarts.

Mr. Stuck then laughed maniacally and showed us an episode of Batman called “Perchance to Dream” that he felt linked the two summer reading books together. In it, Bruce Wayne wakes one morning to discover that he isn’t really Batman at all – everything he knew (the death of his parents, Robin, the batcave) was gone. He also finds out that Batman still exists, but he is not him. He feels as though he is living someone else’s life. Then, he discovers that all the books and print in his possession are either blank or full of gibberish. He starts to realize that nothing makes sense and thinks that Batman is the cause. He sets out to find him. The two fight in a dramatic battle atop a clock tower, which ends in Bruce removing Batman’s mask to reveal The Mad Hatter. The entire scenario is designed to be Bruce’s ideal fantasy world, but Bruce doesn’t like it, no matter how attractive it is, because he doesn’t want to live a lie. He decides the only way out is is to jump off the clock tower. It works, and Batman escapes the dream. He beats up everyone and then the episode ends.

We spent the rest of class drawing connections from this episode to Brave New World and All Quiet on the Western Front.

Brave New World:

  • Batman is like Bernard, who tried to understand the flaws of the “ideal” world.
  • Batman rejected the simple, happy, purposeless life like John rejected utopian London. “I don’t want to live a lie, no matter how attractive you make it!”

All Quiet:

  • Batman finds himself lost within himself, much like Paul.
  • Batman is unhappy with the reality of his life, wishing for his old one.

All Three:

  • Man vs. Society
  • Embracing misery

The next logical step was to discuss whether or not this was believable. Would real human beings actually behave this way under the same conditions? Stuck brought up people who have been thrown in jail for extended periods of time. Once they leave jail, they can not function in real society. Some actually call jail “vacation”.

Don’t forget to study for your test tomorrow.

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