secondary keyword: walking with an empty mind, wandering in the dark, like a shadow on the wall…
For many of us, we are often consumed with our thoughts and worries when we are not distracted. We become so swept up in what could happen to us, things that have happened to us, or things that haven’t happened yet – it is hard for us to take a step back and really see ourselves for who we really are. This is why, I think, Bruce Wayne endures such a traumatic life before donning his infamous cowl – he knows that it is not the life of Bruce Wayne that matters, but rather the death of Batman. When he can no longer bear the pain of living off his past traumas, it is time to put on and change the mask.
What do you do when you identify with a character? Do you take on the personality, feelings, and morals of the character? This is called identification, or if you are one to believe in collective unconsciousness, it is sometimes referred to as ‘resonance’. For example, many people identify with religious figures such as Jesus Christ, or even see themselves in famous political figures like Martin Luther King Jr.
In a more tangential sense of this topic, Sherlock Holmes actually has a very astute take on the whole situation – directly in reference to his own character. According to Dr. Watson,
“The game is to see how much he (Holmes) can be made to see of himself in those about him. It is not a bad way of proving a man’s identity, for though the greatest part of their characters is hidden from them, you are sure that you know your own.”
And it is Dr. Watson’s words, after all, that Holmes himself seems to agree with:
“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” – Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Scarlet (1887) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.