Study Guide

Watchmen Technology and Modernization

By Alan Moore

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Technology and Modernization

Can’t you just google the answer and save us the effort? What, no can do? Fine, we’ll do this the old-fashioned way, on a typewriter. Still too new-school? How about clay tablets? Egads, you’re picky. Let’s cut to the chase. Cave painting, that’s as far back as we can go.

Sure, Watchmen’s all about big ideas and saving mankind from itself and the end of the world, but it’s also meant to be fun. Embrace the nerdcore and jump aboard Archie, the Nite Owl’s airship. Never been to Mars before? Well, come along with Dr. Manhattan. The weather is beautiful this time of year. There, beauty, we said it. Shouldn’t technology do more than just make our lives more efficient? At Shmoop, we sure hope so.

Questions About Technology and Modernization

  1. Veidt is a technical genius, and Dan Dreiberg (Nite Owl 2.0) is no slouch either. But where’s the female character who moonlights as a super-hacker or a physics prodigy? Watchmen gets a lot of credit for its gender equality. Maybe a little too much credit? How can a girl break into this boy’s club?
  2. Our minds were blown here at Shmoop HQ when we learned that humanity creates more data every two days than it did from the dawn of time up until 2003. What does this mean for people’s ability to understand the world? Does the final chapter of Watchmen offer any clues?
  3. What are some of the differences between the real New York City and Alan Moore’s version? How does Dave Gibbons bring these sci-fi touches to life?

Chew on This

For a story with radical ideas about power and technology, Watchmen’s ambiguous ending reads like a copout.

Modern life is always unstable; for things to change, the old way has to fall.

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