Study Guide

Watchmen Lies and Deceit

By Alan Moore

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Lies and Deceit

Remember that time everybody got sick of plot twists? Nope, neither do we. Whether it’s in a book or on the big screen, we crave those jaw-dropping moments when a character we thought was good turns out to be evil, or vice versa.

Without lies and deceit, writers can’t keep their heroes (and readers) in the dark for long. Likewise, deception plays a huge role in Watchmen. Think about Adrian Veidt’s scheme; it’s the greatest lie ever told. And what about the secret Sally keeps from her daughter, Laurie? It’s on a smaller scale yet still packs an emotional wallop. Maybe that’s what fiction is best at. Or is it? How can you trust us to tell the truth about lies? Hmm, let’s all twirl our evil moustaches and move along.

Questions About Lies and Deceit

  1. Newspapers play a huge role in Watchmen; in what ways do the Nova Express and New Frontiersman lie and deceive?
  2. Which plays out worse for our heroes, the lies they tell themselves or the lies they tell others?
  3. Why do so many of the Minutemen have secrets they keep hidden, either politically or personally?
  4. A sad French writer by the name of Camus once said (sort of): Fiction is the lie we use to tell the truth. If so, what truth is Alan Moore getting at?

Chew on This

Watchmen’s illustrations contain more twists than the words on the page. Did you notice that Hooded Justice and Captain Metropolis might still be alive in 1985? James Gifford did (I.25.4).

Without the tweener sections between every chapter, the world of Watchmen would seem unbelievable and cliché.

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