The Dark Knight Showcases Gotham City’s Health Problems
Just as the rooftop spotlight illuminated the sky with a bat, The Dark Knight illuminates the health problems of Gotham City. Would The Joker unscarred have been a different person? (And which version of how he got his scars was true?)
The policewoman who sold out to the joker, Detective Ramirez, did so because her mother was hospitalized and she couldn’t afford the bills. For that matter, being a patient in a Gotham City hospital is not such a safe proposition. Then there was Batman’s stitching of the dog bite on his arm, aided by his trusty Alfred. And the severe burns on half of Harvey Dent’s face, for which he refused pain killers or skin grafts.
Mental health issues were abundant, including Harvey Dent’s interrogation of a paranoid schizophrenic that Batman stopped. In real life, Heath Ledger, who played The Joker in a eerily psychotic way, died from an “accidental overdose of the anti-anxiety agents Valium and Xanax, the sleep aids Restoril and Unisom, and the painkillers OxyContin and hydrocodone (the active ingredient in Vicodin)”.
The highest drama is created by life or death situations. “Pop culture, such as the Batman comics and movies, provides an opportunity to think philosophically about issues and topics that parallel the real world.” Avoid the health problems of Gotham City if you can.