Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Watchmen: Chapter IV - Page 16


Panel 1:  This panel segues directly from the final panel of the previous page, wherein Dr. Manhattan mentioned that “Eighteen months away, an electric limousine is pulling onto Dealey Plaza,” where JFK was shot.

Panel 3:  The painting that Dr. Manhattan is studying is “The Persistence of Memory” by Salvador Dali.  The melting pocket watches, in this context, symbolize the malleable nature of time with respect to Dr. Manhattan’s perceptions, while the title of the work itself is another way of looking at Dr. Manhattan’s quantum perception.  To him, all things happen at once, which is to say that he remembers everything about his life because he has already experienced it, thus he has a persistence of memory.

Janey’s comment that Dr. Manhattan knows how things work in the world except people and that his prediction that they will soon make love is wrong is ironic considering the fact that he does have terrible difficulty with his relationships and has no empathy for the human condition, and yet, for all of that, his declaration that they will make love is correct.

Panel 8:  Note the earrings are a reproduction of the hydrogen atom – Dr. Manhattan’s symbol.  We have seen these before, or ones just like these, on Laurie in the previous issue.  That scene will be “replayed” on the following page.

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