Study Guide

Watchmen Mirrors and Shadows

By Alan Moore

Advertisement - Guide continues below

Mirrors and Shadows

Movies and comic books love to use mirrors. Why? They’re both visual art forms, and mirrors are one of the slickest ways to reveal secret sides to characters. We see things in their reflections they may not even know about themselves. During the intense scene where the Comedian tries to rape Silk Spectre, our vision is warped through Moloch’s Solar Mirror Weapon (II.7.5). We used to think of the Comedian as a hero, but now we see him in a more villainous light.

Mirrors also show the world in reverse. Right is left, left is right. Alt-1985 is the mirror image to our own real 1985. The entire Chapter V is a mirror: it’s clearly symmetrical. For the best example of that, check out V.14-15. For more on that scene, shmoop yourself over to the “Genre” section, and click on the postmodern component.

There’s a reason we’ve combined Mirrors and Shadows. They’re kind of similar, right? What we’d like to add to the equation is Watchmen’s repeated use of shadow lovers. It’s hard to make this point convincing with more blah blah blah, so pretend you’re from Missouri (the show-me state), and see the shadows for yourself: V.11.4, VI.16.6, VI.27.3, VII.15.3, XII.22.7.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...