Study Guide

Batman Setting

Setting

Gotham City—The City Never Sleeps, but It Could Use a Nap

Gotham City is an Art Deco metropolis—no, not the Metropolis defended by that other caped crusader. It's also a city that never sleeps, where the crime bosses run the police, and hookers proposition children. (Ugh.)

Here's the mayor trying to give the city a pep talk.

MAYOR: Across this nation the words "Gotham City" are synonymous with crime. Our streets are overrun, our public officials are helpless. As mayor, I promise to root out the source of this corruption...

Yeah, that's the least peppy pep talk we've heard since Richard Nixon said he wasn't a crook. The mayor's whole plan to root out corruption seems to be threefold:

  1. Have a parade.
  2. ???
  3. No more corruption. Brilliant!

Ugh, good thing this city has Batman looking after it…although we're not sure if they deserve it.

Wayne Manor

We're not sure the exact percentage, but Wayne Manor is so huge, it probably takes up about 4% of the total area of Gotham City. Here is Knox describing, in perfect deadpan, just a bit of its floorplan:

KNOX: Living room, dining room, arsenal.

One could get lost in Wayne Manor. Actually, two could get lost, because both Knox and Vicki get so turned around in a room full of armor, they know they're not in Kansas anymore. Or Gotham.

We suspect even Bruce may have gotten turned around a time or two in the halls of Wayne Manor. While attempting to eat a dinner on the other side of an obscenely long dining room table that must seat at least thirty people, Bruce tells Vicki:

BRUCE: You want to know the truth, I don't think I've ever been in this room before.

That's right, Bruce Wayne, playboy gajillioniare, has never been in his own dining room.

And that deepens the complicated mystery of Bruce Wayne. Even before Vicki confirms Bruce likes to don a batsuit and fight crime, she knows he's different from your average gajillionaire. He seems humble, unspoiled, and he doesn't seem to fit in. Anywhere. Not even in his own home.

Vicki mentions that he sticks out from his surroundings like a thumb sore from being snapped by a Batarang:

VICKI: This house and all this stuff really doesn't seem like you at all.

BRUCE: Some of it is very much me. Some of it isn't.

The some of it that isn't would be all the stuff rich men are supposed to have—casino rooms, huge dining rooms, ballrooms. But the some of it that is reveals his true bat-like identity: an armory, weird artwork, and most importantly the Bat Cave.

Just as Bruce Wayne keeps his true identity a secret, Wayne Manor hides Bruce's favorite room deep beneath its surface. And just as Bruce Wayne is a little crazy, the Bat Cave is pretty darn batty.

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