The Joker Symbol

Review of: The Joker Symbol

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The Joker Symbol

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The Joker Symbol

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After hearing about how Arthur got beat up by the gang of boys, Arthur's coworker Randall gives him a gun for protection. Given the fact that they are not allowed to have guns in their job and Arthur has pretty severe mental illness, this is an unwise gift.

When Arthur gets his hand on the gun, even though he knows he should not have it, his self-esteem improves. He begins to stand up for himself, and eventually, he uses the gun to kill people.

The gun is a symbol of empowerment for someone who has barely any power in the world. It becomes a symbol of confidence, power, and vigilantist violence, the method by which Arthur becomes an infamous Gotham villain.

Arthur dances at several points in the film, first after killing the three men on the subway, then down the steps outside his apartment building after killing Randall, then as he enters the stage on Murray Franklin's show, and then at the very end, after he's killed the social worker at Arkham's.

Arthur's dancing represents his descent into madness and his transformation into "Joker. Arthur has no father, and must care for his ailing mother in their squalid apartment.

In many ways, he is searching for a paternal role model to encourage him in life. The two people who symbolize paternal care for Arthur are Murray Franklin, a talk-show host who represents the comedic success that Arthur so longs for, and Thomas Wayne, the wealthiest man in Gotham, whom his mother insists is Arthur's illegitimate father.

The two men, from Arthur's perspective, come to represent father figures, people who could help Arthur to blossom into a well-adjusted and happier person.

However, they both let him down in different ways, and he ends up more disappointed than ever.

In this way, they can be thought to symbolize the way that society itself and those in power are paternal figures for those who are less fortunate, charged with providing for the more vulnerable in society.

In Joker , they prove to be disappointing dads, falling short and failing the citizens who need them most. Joker study guide contains a biography of director Todd Phillips, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

Joker essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Joker, directed by Todd Phillips.

Remember me. Forgot your password? The Unreliable Narrator technique is used significantly through out the amazing series Mr.

Robot with Rami Malek on the USA Network which also has a main character who has some mental illness and whose story also has a political statement of sorts too.

The movie is set in the infamous home of Batman, the fictional city of Gotham, in about or so, so you will not see modern technology and you will see movies, designs, and other slight references to that time period.

The significant negative press surrounding this movie has been manufactured for 1 powerful reason: the movie acts like a large dystopian Reflecting Mirror which lays bare the corrupt soul of our contemporary society by reflecting on 3 primary areas:.

A large reason for some of the negative press that this movie has received is due to the movie forcing us to hold a mirror up to reflect upon ourselves, our country, and our potential role in the events that transpire in the movie.

It forces people to reflect on those who they may know or see in their lives who may be struggling with a mental disorder or poverty, which may have them potentially feel guilty about how isolated and powerless that person may be, and how we may have contributed to their feeling invisible and unheard, but also feeling somewhat powerless to help their situation.

For some people where mental illness and poverty are all too real this movie may even hit a little too close to home. It also forces those of us who are NOT impoverished or currently suffering from mental illness to reflect on actions we may have taken which may make us feel bad about ourselves because we may be doing OK sitting in middle class or higher and yet feel guilty for being there when others are suffering so despairingly and without power or hope.

An awakened and sympathetic public is a threat to their bank accounts and therefore this movie must be destroyed. Complaints about violence are patently ridiculous.

There are soooo many movies and TV series which are much more graphic than the 3 or so scenes in this movie. The media is also trying to paint this movie as an Incel Involuntary Celibate training manual for violence.

There are no themes of romantic rejection or other such things. These are all just an emotion laden smokes screens to prevent your awakening.

It gets people to think and to talk. They do not want this, especially when their role in our problems is also laid bare. They must start the damage mitigation early and often so that the people will not consider the truth and so they will either not watch it at all or, if they do watch it, then their impression will already have been poisoned due to the negative press it has received.

What do you get when you cross a mentally ill loner with a society that abandons him and treats him like trash? Also, consider that the media wants something tragic to happen, because tragedy is what really sells, it is what makes headlines, it is what makes them money.

From his mother being mentally ill or him being mentally ill, to exemplifying how the mentally ill are a marginalized and powerless demographic, as well as showing funding and social support for the mentally ill being cut due to a complete lack of compassion and social responsibility to our fellow humans who suffer painfully and are at the mercy of their devastating illnesses, many of which may end up homeless or worse.

In the movie we find out that his mother has severe mental illnesses. Likewise, Arthur suffers from mental illnesses most likely stemming from potential brain damage and PTSD from childhood abuse that his mentally ill mother was unable to protect him from and potentially participated in , nor was able to prevent from happening to herself.

Yes, I do know that abuse is a much more complicated issue than this. Why are they not taken care of? The usual answer for this and many other social issues is a single unitary answer — money.

There is never enough money to do what is right and to take care of our fellow humans who are all but invisible, marginalized, and powerless, but there is always enough money to murder or exploit innocent Humans for profit here at home or in other parts of the world.

Exploitation and murder is always profitable, whereas helping people out or doing good is not at all. Depending on how you take the many possible messages on mental illness present in the movie I would like to make list some of my thoughts on that topic here:.

I do not like the potential message or potential correlation that some may take from this that crime is caused by mental illness.

I am also not comfortable with the correlation that we may potentially find about trauma leading to mental illness which then leads to crime.

Again, it is not that this cannot and does not happen, but we need to realize that we cannot create a causation that all who are abused or traumatized are automatically criminals.

Out of sight and therefore out of mind. If it does not affect me, then I need not worry about it or support it. This is too much of what is happening in politics especially when it comes to mental health.

Having access to mental health care is seen like a charity or nicety and not an absolute necessity or human right. Those who think like this need to change their thinking to be something more like: No one should suffer without mental health care not only because it is the right thing to do, but because I or someone I care about will have a mental illness at some time in their lives which will need support and treatment.

If I work towards taking care of others I also work towards ensure I am taken care of in the future too. Plus, how much will I and society at large suffer if there are untreated mentally ill people running around endangering themselves or people I care about, especially when it is legal for them to own a gun.

In the United States there is a tremendous stigma against talking about mental illness and this is significant problem. This is the sad reality of the state of things and what drives much of the voicelessness and powerlessness of those with mental illnesses.

This stigma needs to end. There is also a massive stigma regarding mental illness especially among men who: just need to be strong, not have or show emotions, just be a man, cannot ask for help, cannot cry, or are told to just rub some dirt on it.

Believe it or not, but men are people too, and the corruptions and pressures of our broken culture affects us too, even if we may project a facade of happiness, calm, or indifference.

We see this all too well in the suicides of the many veterans who have returned home from the horrors of corporate created wars to the high profile suicides of stars like Robin Williams, Kurt Cobain, and Anthony Bourdain.

It does not matter what your socioeconomic level — whether rich or poor — or what job you do — soldier or entertainer — mental illness is coming for you or someone you care about, but it is the many, many people who have been forgotten and abandoned by society that will suffer the most from it because they will not have access to the needed therapy or medications.

There are also some amazing quotes in here too which reflect them too. There are so many, many issues, symbolism, and ideas brought forth by this movie through its fluid mix of narrative reality and delusion.

There is much more in this movie than I am going to be able to notice or write about, so yes I have either not noticed or did not have time to write about something you may have noticed.

This is such a deep and evocative movie I could not possibly notice everything, so please forgive me!

This also shows that when those who need help go to ask for help, they are often denied it, sometimes violently, by those who are rich or are in power even though they may have the ability to do so.

His mother says something similar showing the powerless, downtrodden, and oppressed who are desperate for a voice and for change putting their hopes in the rich and entitled who have all of the power and who do nothing but disdain them and try to benefit from their misfortune.

This also may bring up the interesting possibility of a different unreliable narrator in Bruce Wayne who might typically remember his father as a good man even though in reality he was a callous, entitled, and demeaning asshat.

If you want to see how this may play out then check out that comic. Thomas Wayne, when talking to the press about the murders while running for mayor, is demeaning of those below his socioeconomic class the poor and oppressed from which he has made his fortune upon by angrily calling them clowns.

This shows the hypocrisy of their positive words and their contrary and destructive actions. Penny still had her adopted child and did not have medication or other support in dealing with her still present delusions as far as we were aware.

This shows that even the people closest to us, our family, may be suffering and we cannot tell or do not want to see it because we are too close.

Albeit, Thomas Wayne may have felt threatened or in danger, which I get, however, we need to consider his actions from a larger message picture.

Instead of helping he cast them aside like refuse, abandoned them, or attacked them. They show quite well how much Arthur is in need of help, but how little help he actually received, and that little help eventually ran out social worker and medication.

He was abandoned to deal with the horrors of mental illness alone. Arthur is just another victim of a system that just throws those in need away because they cannot be profited from.

Even Arthur laughed as he was watching the movie when he was able to temporarily join their ranks perhaps showing the corrupting force of ascending the socioeconomic ladder.

When they go higher they lose their perspective of those who are now below them a different and additional mental problem , those who are suffering, where they once also stood, but it also shows that ascending the ladder does not get rid of mental issues and only creates more.

We see this directly with the Murray Franklin Show booking Arthur just to mock him and make fun of him because the audience requested it.

This shows the separation and callousness on two levels:. Our society is dysfunctional because of the separation we have between each other and many suffer because of this and we look to medicate them to appease ourselves and so we do not have to actually solve the problem.

We can see the isolation and voicelessness through class oppression and disdain slathered all through the movie which is shown in the following situations:.

You just ask the same questions every week. Do you have any negative thoughts? All I have are negative thoughts! But, I do, and people are starting to notice.

The movie sets up expectations just by the name of the main character, Arthur Fleck , which evokes that dichotomy of class differences through:.

It also casts a character who is downtrodden and has mental illness as being a person to which corporations cannot make money off of and throw away.

You be the judge. One of the first scenes in the movie is of Arthur putting on his makeup after having been beaten up by those kids, building up that facade, that mask of normalcy ready to hide the pain, fear, isolation, and loneliness.

In testing his mask he starts with a frown and then forces a smile. Then with his fingers he forces a wide smile, then a wide frown, then another wide smile this time with a tear running down.

It looks like he is trying really hard to force the smile and to prevent the tidal wave of desperation and despair from exploding forth, like perhaps the makeup is all that is keeping the cracks in his mental foundation from completely unraveling.

This is a powerful and unsettling scene. Him being a clown shows that we are all trying to put a facade, a mask of happiness, even though we are a depressed and isolated mess underneath — trying to hide our pain and fear.

The clowns, especially with the masks, paints the masses as being faceless and nameless, everyone is hiding pain, putting on a show while battling something.

It also shows that the people underneath the mask or makeup are hidden and not known, especially to the system, the rich, the corporations, and the government, and even to each other.

Do we really know anyone at all until we know their struggles, that sequestered truth which lies beneath their mask? Even my wife was like duh, bro.

We have lost some of the greatest entertainers to depression and mental illness I added this graphic earlier when talking about mental illness above, but I will add it again to emphasize the point:.

There is also this sad dichotomy of Arthur being a clown so he can be noticed and so he can make people laugh while not being able to be funny.

His wanting to be a stand-up comic so he can be seen and so that his laughter might actually allow him to fit in even though it is a severe detriment because, in comedy, timing is everything and due to his disease his uncontrollable laughter and inability to understand social cues makes being a comedian next to impossible.

Plus, any attempt to be seen with your disease is met with public ridicule and being cast down — further increasing isolation and dis-empowerment.

This also shows that those with mental illness or other disabilities are often prevented from doing the very things that they really want to because of their disability.

Assuming this is actually true, even at birth Arthur was discarded and we do not know who his parents were or why they gave him up for adoption.

This fact adds to the throw away and garbage theme. Then he was adopted from an orphanage by a mentally ill woman Penny — his adopted mother who did not protect him or herself from abuse.

How she was able to adopt him given her condition I have no idea. Perhaps her conditions were not known until after that?

Then we have the potential delusion by his mother that she had an affair with Thomas Wayne and that Arthur was his son.

There we would have the second case of being thrown away and rejected not only of Arthur, but also of his mother when it was known that she was sick.

Now, with Thomas Wayne being so rich and powerful he could have had the records forged to cover-up the truth.

In either case, he crumples it up as if it does not matter, because at this point that part of him Arthur Fleck was now gone and all that remained was the Joker.

I am thinking that this was a delusion to say that the internal question of his parentage and his desire to belong and to fit in no longer matters to him because he has completely cast off his past and previous identity of Arthur, and has full embraced his real self — the Joker.

They struggle against it while trying to try to fit in and while trying to find any level of normalcy in their life, but it ends up being something that isolates them and sets them apart from the rest of society.

It is something that other people find difficult to deal with and end up avoiding them which can end up compounding their psychological problems by adding in anxiety, loneliness, and depression to their already full stack of mental strain.

Arthur Fleck trudging up and down those massive stairs back and forth from his home is a powerful and evocative symbol.

The power from this shot is derived from the way the camera frames the shot from below the stairs and it does not show the actual base of the stairs, as if the shot was take in the middle of the it, which makes the stairs seem steep and to go on and on making you wonder about how long the stairs really are.

The infinitude of the stairs makes it seem like it is a really long struggle and a lot of work to go through each and every day.

The darker lighting and shadows help to accentuate that daily struggle by making it seem tight, enclosed, isolated, and lonely. The steep and seemingly infinite stairs symbolizes the very real struggle that those who have mental illness have just to attempt to live every day while trying to fit in.

It also symbolizes the enormous issues that many can face in getting the therapy or medications they need, especially in a society which has such a stigma towards mental illness and where those with mental illness may find it very difficult to have a steady job in order to have healthcare because of their mental illness — a vicious Catch 22 cycle.

Everyday is a struggle just to maintain control. Everyday is a struggle just to try to get the help and assistance they need. Every day is a struggle to be seen as person and not as a disease.

As Arthur Fleck, his dancing was slow, restrained, and methodical, as if he was holding back, feeling oppressed, scared and unwilling to allow his real self, his unrestrained and free self, to be seen not even when dancing alone.

The gate itself represents the distinct separation between the rich and elite from the mentally ill and the poor and downtrodden.

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This inspires him to adopt the image of a clown as his persona when he becomes Joker. Then, he goes on Murray Franklin's show in a full clown costume, with dyed hair and whacky makeup.

The image of Arthur as the clown symbolizes his marginality from society, the fact that he is a freak and a pariah. He is a clown who has been pushed to his limits and now has a completely demented sense of humor that hinges on violence.

As a trope, the clown or the fool symbolizes someone who exists outside of society and subverts it to show the masses the truth.

Arthur is an unhinged and malevolent version of this trope. Additionally, after Arthur murders the men on the subway, people take up the image of the "clown" as a symbol of a class uprising in Gotham.

Members of the resistance sport clown masks and begin to riot in the streets. Here, the "clown" becomes a symbol of the lower classes becoming impatient and rising up against Gotham's elite, wearing their marginality as a perversely proud symbol of their anger and rebellion.

Arthur's first murder, of the three businessmen who work for Wayne Enterprises, is primarily an act of self-defense against their violent beatings.

Because he has a gun on him and he struggles with mental illness, he uses it against the men, and then becomes so incensed that he kills the third one in cold blood.

It is a random and chaotic act, yet the citizens of Gotham interpret it as a symbol of a class uprising.

While Arthur certainly has a great deal of malice towards the men on the subway, which has much to do with their class entitlement, unchecked sense of privilege, and arrogance, his act is not a calculated political one.

This symbolic act, the murder, sets off a whole revolution in the city, even though it is without intention.

After hearing about how Arthur got beat up by the gang of boys, Arthur's coworker Randall gives him a gun for protection. Given the fact that they are not allowed to have guns in their job and Arthur has pretty severe mental illness, this is an unwise gift.

When Arthur gets his hand on the gun, even though he knows he should not have it, his self-esteem improves.

He begins to stand up for himself, and eventually, he uses the gun to kill people. The gun is a symbol of empowerment for someone who has barely any power in the world.

It becomes a symbol of confidence, power, and vigilantist violence, the method by which Arthur becomes an infamous Gotham villain. The movie is set in the infamous home of Batman, the fictional city of Gotham, in about or so, so you will not see modern technology and you will see movies, designs, and other slight references to that time period.

The significant negative press surrounding this movie has been manufactured for 1 powerful reason: the movie acts like a large dystopian Reflecting Mirror which lays bare the corrupt soul of our contemporary society by reflecting on 3 primary areas:.

A large reason for some of the negative press that this movie has received is due to the movie forcing us to hold a mirror up to reflect upon ourselves, our country, and our potential role in the events that transpire in the movie.

It forces people to reflect on those who they may know or see in their lives who may be struggling with a mental disorder or poverty, which may have them potentially feel guilty about how isolated and powerless that person may be, and how we may have contributed to their feeling invisible and unheard, but also feeling somewhat powerless to help their situation.

For some people where mental illness and poverty are all too real this movie may even hit a little too close to home.

It also forces those of us who are NOT impoverished or currently suffering from mental illness to reflect on actions we may have taken which may make us feel bad about ourselves because we may be doing OK sitting in middle class or higher and yet feel guilty for being there when others are suffering so despairingly and without power or hope.

An awakened and sympathetic public is a threat to their bank accounts and therefore this movie must be destroyed.

Complaints about violence are patently ridiculous. There are soooo many movies and TV series which are much more graphic than the 3 or so scenes in this movie.

The media is also trying to paint this movie as an Incel Involuntary Celibate training manual for violence. There are no themes of romantic rejection or other such things.

These are all just an emotion laden smokes screens to prevent your awakening. It gets people to think and to talk.

They do not want this, especially when their role in our problems is also laid bare. They must start the damage mitigation early and often so that the people will not consider the truth and so they will either not watch it at all or, if they do watch it, then their impression will already have been poisoned due to the negative press it has received.

What do you get when you cross a mentally ill loner with a society that abandons him and treats him like trash? Also, consider that the media wants something tragic to happen, because tragedy is what really sells, it is what makes headlines, it is what makes them money.

From his mother being mentally ill or him being mentally ill, to exemplifying how the mentally ill are a marginalized and powerless demographic, as well as showing funding and social support for the mentally ill being cut due to a complete lack of compassion and social responsibility to our fellow humans who suffer painfully and are at the mercy of their devastating illnesses, many of which may end up homeless or worse.

In the movie we find out that his mother has severe mental illnesses. Likewise, Arthur suffers from mental illnesses most likely stemming from potential brain damage and PTSD from childhood abuse that his mentally ill mother was unable to protect him from and potentially participated in , nor was able to prevent from happening to herself.

Yes, I do know that abuse is a much more complicated issue than this. Why are they not taken care of? The usual answer for this and many other social issues is a single unitary answer — money.

There is never enough money to do what is right and to take care of our fellow humans who are all but invisible, marginalized, and powerless, but there is always enough money to murder or exploit innocent Humans for profit here at home or in other parts of the world.

Exploitation and murder is always profitable, whereas helping people out or doing good is not at all. Depending on how you take the many possible messages on mental illness present in the movie I would like to make list some of my thoughts on that topic here:.

I do not like the potential message or potential correlation that some may take from this that crime is caused by mental illness. I am also not comfortable with the correlation that we may potentially find about trauma leading to mental illness which then leads to crime.

Again, it is not that this cannot and does not happen, but we need to realize that we cannot create a causation that all who are abused or traumatized are automatically criminals.

Out of sight and therefore out of mind. If it does not affect me, then I need not worry about it or support it. This is too much of what is happening in politics especially when it comes to mental health.

Having access to mental health care is seen like a charity or nicety and not an absolute necessity or human right.

Those who think like this need to change their thinking to be something more like: No one should suffer without mental health care not only because it is the right thing to do, but because I or someone I care about will have a mental illness at some time in their lives which will need support and treatment.

If I work towards taking care of others I also work towards ensure I am taken care of in the future too. Plus, how much will I and society at large suffer if there are untreated mentally ill people running around endangering themselves or people I care about, especially when it is legal for them to own a gun.

In the United States there is a tremendous stigma against talking about mental illness and this is significant problem.

This is the sad reality of the state of things and what drives much of the voicelessness and powerlessness of those with mental illnesses. This stigma needs to end.

There is also a massive stigma regarding mental illness especially among men who: just need to be strong, not have or show emotions, just be a man, cannot ask for help, cannot cry, or are told to just rub some dirt on it.

Believe it or not, but men are people too, and the corruptions and pressures of our broken culture affects us too, even if we may project a facade of happiness, calm, or indifference.

We see this all too well in the suicides of the many veterans who have returned home from the horrors of corporate created wars to the high profile suicides of stars like Robin Williams, Kurt Cobain, and Anthony Bourdain.

It does not matter what your socioeconomic level — whether rich or poor — or what job you do — soldier or entertainer — mental illness is coming for you or someone you care about, but it is the many, many people who have been forgotten and abandoned by society that will suffer the most from it because they will not have access to the needed therapy or medications.

There are also some amazing quotes in here too which reflect them too. There are so many, many issues, symbolism, and ideas brought forth by this movie through its fluid mix of narrative reality and delusion.

There is much more in this movie than I am going to be able to notice or write about, so yes I have either not noticed or did not have time to write about something you may have noticed.

This is such a deep and evocative movie I could not possibly notice everything, so please forgive me! This also shows that when those who need help go to ask for help, they are often denied it, sometimes violently, by those who are rich or are in power even though they may have the ability to do so.

His mother says something similar showing the powerless, downtrodden, and oppressed who are desperate for a voice and for change putting their hopes in the rich and entitled who have all of the power and who do nothing but disdain them and try to benefit from their misfortune.

This also may bring up the interesting possibility of a different unreliable narrator in Bruce Wayne who might typically remember his father as a good man even though in reality he was a callous, entitled, and demeaning asshat.

If you want to see how this may play out then check out that comic. Thomas Wayne, when talking to the press about the murders while running for mayor, is demeaning of those below his socioeconomic class the poor and oppressed from which he has made his fortune upon by angrily calling them clowns.

This shows the hypocrisy of their positive words and their contrary and destructive actions. Penny still had her adopted child and did not have medication or other support in dealing with her still present delusions as far as we were aware.

This shows that even the people closest to us, our family, may be suffering and we cannot tell or do not want to see it because we are too close.

Albeit, Thomas Wayne may have felt threatened or in danger, which I get, however, we need to consider his actions from a larger message picture.

Instead of helping he cast them aside like refuse, abandoned them, or attacked them. They show quite well how much Arthur is in need of help, but how little help he actually received, and that little help eventually ran out social worker and medication.

He was abandoned to deal with the horrors of mental illness alone. Arthur is just another victim of a system that just throws those in need away because they cannot be profited from.

Even Arthur laughed as he was watching the movie when he was able to temporarily join their ranks perhaps showing the corrupting force of ascending the socioeconomic ladder.

When they go higher they lose their perspective of those who are now below them a different and additional mental problem , those who are suffering, where they once also stood, but it also shows that ascending the ladder does not get rid of mental issues and only creates more.

We see this directly with the Murray Franklin Show booking Arthur just to mock him and make fun of him because the audience requested it.

This shows the separation and callousness on two levels:. Our society is dysfunctional because of the separation we have between each other and many suffer because of this and we look to medicate them to appease ourselves and so we do not have to actually solve the problem.

We can see the isolation and voicelessness through class oppression and disdain slathered all through the movie which is shown in the following situations:.

You just ask the same questions every week. Do you have any negative thoughts? All I have are negative thoughts! But, I do, and people are starting to notice.

The movie sets up expectations just by the name of the main character, Arthur Fleck , which evokes that dichotomy of class differences through:.

It also casts a character who is downtrodden and has mental illness as being a person to which corporations cannot make money off of and throw away.

You be the judge. One of the first scenes in the movie is of Arthur putting on his makeup after having been beaten up by those kids, building up that facade, that mask of normalcy ready to hide the pain, fear, isolation, and loneliness.

In testing his mask he starts with a frown and then forces a smile. Then with his fingers he forces a wide smile, then a wide frown, then another wide smile this time with a tear running down.

It looks like he is trying really hard to force the smile and to prevent the tidal wave of desperation and despair from exploding forth, like perhaps the makeup is all that is keeping the cracks in his mental foundation from completely unraveling.

This is a powerful and unsettling scene. Him being a clown shows that we are all trying to put a facade, a mask of happiness, even though we are a depressed and isolated mess underneath — trying to hide our pain and fear.

The clowns, especially with the masks, paints the masses as being faceless and nameless, everyone is hiding pain, putting on a show while battling something.

It also shows that the people underneath the mask or makeup are hidden and not known, especially to the system, the rich, the corporations, and the government, and even to each other.

Do we really know anyone at all until we know their struggles, that sequestered truth which lies beneath their mask? Even my wife was like duh, bro.

We have lost some of the greatest entertainers to depression and mental illness I added this graphic earlier when talking about mental illness above, but I will add it again to emphasize the point:.

There is also this sad dichotomy of Arthur being a clown so he can be noticed and so he can make people laugh while not being able to be funny.

His wanting to be a stand-up comic so he can be seen and so that his laughter might actually allow him to fit in even though it is a severe detriment because, in comedy, timing is everything and due to his disease his uncontrollable laughter and inability to understand social cues makes being a comedian next to impossible.

Plus, any attempt to be seen with your disease is met with public ridicule and being cast down — further increasing isolation and dis-empowerment.

This also shows that those with mental illness or other disabilities are often prevented from doing the very things that they really want to because of their disability.

Assuming this is actually true, even at birth Arthur was discarded and we do not know who his parents were or why they gave him up for adoption.

This fact adds to the throw away and garbage theme. Then he was adopted from an orphanage by a mentally ill woman Penny — his adopted mother who did not protect him or herself from abuse.

How she was able to adopt him given her condition I have no idea. Perhaps her conditions were not known until after that? Then we have the potential delusion by his mother that she had an affair with Thomas Wayne and that Arthur was his son.

There we would have the second case of being thrown away and rejected not only of Arthur, but also of his mother when it was known that she was sick.

Now, with Thomas Wayne being so rich and powerful he could have had the records forged to cover-up the truth.

In either case, he crumples it up as if it does not matter, because at this point that part of him Arthur Fleck was now gone and all that remained was the Joker.

I am thinking that this was a delusion to say that the internal question of his parentage and his desire to belong and to fit in no longer matters to him because he has completely cast off his past and previous identity of Arthur, and has full embraced his real self — the Joker.

They struggle against it while trying to try to fit in and while trying to find any level of normalcy in their life, but it ends up being something that isolates them and sets them apart from the rest of society.

It is something that other people find difficult to deal with and end up avoiding them which can end up compounding their psychological problems by adding in anxiety, loneliness, and depression to their already full stack of mental strain.

Arthur Fleck trudging up and down those massive stairs back and forth from his home is a powerful and evocative symbol. The power from this shot is derived from the way the camera frames the shot from below the stairs and it does not show the actual base of the stairs, as if the shot was take in the middle of the it, which makes the stairs seem steep and to go on and on making you wonder about how long the stairs really are.

The infinitude of the stairs makes it seem like it is a really long struggle and a lot of work to go through each and every day.

The darker lighting and shadows help to accentuate that daily struggle by making it seem tight, enclosed, isolated, and lonely. The steep and seemingly infinite stairs symbolizes the very real struggle that those who have mental illness have just to attempt to live every day while trying to fit in.

It also symbolizes the enormous issues that many can face in getting the therapy or medications they need, especially in a society which has such a stigma towards mental illness and where those with mental illness may find it very difficult to have a steady job in order to have healthcare because of their mental illness — a vicious Catch 22 cycle.

Everyday is a struggle just to maintain control. Everyday is a struggle just to try to get the help and assistance they need.

Every day is a struggle to be seen as person and not as a disease. As Arthur Fleck, his dancing was slow, restrained, and methodical, as if he was holding back, feeling oppressed, scared and unwilling to allow his real self, his unrestrained and free self, to be seen not even when dancing alone.

The gate itself represents the distinct separation between the rich and elite from the mentally ill and the poor and downtrodden.

That scene also shows the callousness of the rich and their servants through the government and their various agencies which act as a their proxy and enforcers to cast the downtrodden and impoverished aside because they have no power or no ability to be heard.

Once Arthur has embraced his Joker personae due to the foundation of his identity having been completely shattered through:.

The Joker Symbol

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