Batman: Year One Batman discussion


759 views
Whoever gave this a 5...

Comments Showing 1-50 of 57 (57 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Megan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:54AM) (new)

Megan So my Junior English class insists on characterizing Curley's wife as a "whore." I have defended her to the point of exhaustion. Anyone want to give me a hand with this? Or am I being too easy on her?


message 2: by Kevin (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:54AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kevin Whoever gave this book a 5, would you care to defend your rating? I personally thought Batman Begins had a better story...


message 3: by Andrew (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:54AM) (new)

Andrew She's kind of a floozy.


message 4: by Sawsan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new)

Sawsan she actually depresses me a bit - she's a sad character...but its sort of a chicken-or-the-egg type thing. you don't know if her promiscuity is owing to her angry husband and the resulting loneliness or vice versa....she's obviously very unfulfilled and insecure so she's reaching out for others to fill the gap that Curley doesn't fill.


message 5: by Lynecia (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:56AM) (new)

Lynecia I agree with Sawsan. She's unfulfilled, yet a bit on the "wild side" rebelling against the tyranny of her husband in that way.


message 6: by Misnomer (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:56AM) (new)

Misnomer I wouldn't necessarily say 'whore'. She's just desperate for attention from anyone.


message 7: by Maggie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maggie I liked it because it was old school and the art was delightful and gritty.


message 8: by Maggie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maggie I liked it because it was old school and the art was delightful and gritty.


message 9: by Melissa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:00AM) (new)

Melissa I think whore is a little harsh. She definitely is a little loose but I think she is a product of her environment. Each of the characters are lonely or isolated from each other in one way. A mentally challenged man, his caretaker, the boss's son, and the only woman, even the old man and his dog. They are all looking for a connection to someone else. She uses the only way she knows, the only she is allowed.


message 10: by Christopher (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:20AM) (new)

Christopher Gonzalez What would help this debate is if we clarify what we mean by the term "whore." If it is a woman who sleeps around with many men, then no, she isn't. Based on the text, she is never depicted as having slept with someone other than Curley. However, if we take whore to mean a married woman who looks for company in the arms of other men, then yes, she is a whore.

Personally, I do not agree with the second definition. If a woman is abused or ignored by her husband, then the husband is not owning up to his end of the marriage. The wife has every right to seek out personal happiness, even if it leads to a separation or divorce. Like Edna Pontellier in The Awakening, Curley's Wife has a tragic sense of what she is missing out on. And, like Edna Pontellier, when Curley's Wife pursues her right to personal fulfillment, it leads to her demise.

Curley's Wife is not a whore. She's desperate for attention because she married the first guy she could in order to get away from her controlling mother. That guy just happened to be the wrong guy, and now she knows it.


message 11: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 25, 2007 11:20AM) (new)

I would compare her character to that of Madame Bovary, a character that has also been debated as being a "whore". I think in assessing these characters it is so important to keep in mind the context of their situations.

These women were working within the confines of very restrictive societies. They didn't have choices. They either stay at home caring for others or leave their contemptible familiarities to be with men, whom they may or may not love, as their only form of escape.

Furthermore, both women have seen their modest life's ambitions dashed. Curley's wife makes reference to having wanted to be in "pitures". Her reality is that of an ill-treated piece of property.

The respect issue is a crucial one. Whether Curley's wife cheats on him or not she still is treated without respect. She is Curley's sex object, nothing more.

In both instances, these women make bad choices, but considering that there are no good choices available to them, it's hard to consider them treacherous. They are desperate, they are sad, as so many people have mentioned, they want attention. Above all else, they want escape from these miserable lives that afford them no choices and no respect. I think perhaps the Junior lit. students need to consider how they would feel in such a position. Lay out "a day in the life" of Curley's wife: she gets up, she has nothing to do, she is treated like chattel, she waits for her husband to come home to dinner. And then one day a kind person treats her with sympathy and respect, can we really blame her for the choice to respond the way she did?



message 12: by Catie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:44AM) (new)

Catie I find that Curley's wife isn't so much of a whore as a person desperate for attention that she isn't recieving from anyone else - her dreams of becoming a star was struck down, and she settles for the life of a farmer's wife. It wasn't what she wanted for herself, so she must feel robbed of the future that she could have had.

While discussing the book in class, this point was continually bought up, each time that Curley's wife appeared in the story. We came to the conclusion that, in the majority's opinion, Curley's wife wasn't necessarily looking for sex from anyone. Yes, she was a sensual character, but that doesn't mean that its all she was after. She tells Lenny that no one ever talks to her - and is notably upset while she talks about it.


message 13: by Angel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:51AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angel I just happen to be someone who thinks Miller can do little wrong. While I think tales like Dark Knight Returns have more meat, as some comment here, this one I found to be very good. That it explored the character of Gordon as well made it more engaging for me. Plus, that dark and gritty tone and art always works for me.


message 14: by Chicklet (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:05PM) (new)

Chicklet While I agree with much that has been discussed thus far, there is something everyone seems to be missing. George warns Lenny to avoid her. She is well-known for coming on to the men that work for her husband. If Curley were to even think that something may be going on between his wife and one of the men there would be trouble. Would he kill the man? Run him out of town? It seems unlikely he'd simply fire a guy. It is for this reason that no one will talk to her.
Is she a whore? She is a flirt for cetain. And how about some clarification - a whore is a prostitute. Therefore, no she is not. I understand that this definition has been blurred; often defining a promiscous woman, a woman who will throw herself at any man, a woman who flirts, or simply a woman who dresses provocatively. It is a mistake to label this character so. Call her inappropriate, for regardless of circumstance she is - though I can hardly blame her, in ways she has been driven to it through isolation, popped dreams, and general cruelty.


message 15: by Renee (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:06PM) (new)

Renee 'Flirt' is a better term. And there's nothing wrong with a flirt who has her boundaries...which shows a little self respect.


message 16: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ I hate how Curley's wife is portrayed. Everyone else in the book has a name, but she's just "the wife". It's so sexist!


message 17: by Dale (new)

Dale Pearl I definitely did not see her as a "whore". Mostly I saw her as a woman who went to extreme means to try to get attention from her husband. Was she really rolling in the hay with others? I don't think so, I think she was just acting the way she did to spark a little fire in her honey do.


message 18: by Dangyankee (new)

Dangyankee Wow, I am amazed how many people can miss the whole point. Even after seventy years the basic idea of what is strength and is strength a virtue is important to understanding humanity. But, I think people get so caught up in idiosycratic details they miss the point.

Curley's wife has a kind of strength. She is beautiful, but that strength is a obstacle to her happiness. Men shun her because of her beauty. It is worth noting that she never did anything to earn the title "tart" or "floozy" or "whore". She is characterized as such because men fear her because they fear their own weakness, their inability to fraternize with her without sexual advances.

Her character fits in seemlessly with the others. Curley, strength of a boxer but incredibly insecure. Slim, strength lies in his wisdom and skill with a jerk line, but he is horribly lonely. Crooks, strength is in his tenure at the ranch and his specialized knowlege, but weak due to his race and his vulnerability. Lenny, strength is in his physical prowess but he is weak due to his inability to comprehend humanity. George, strength lies in his comprehension of humanity, especially Lenny, but he is weak because he can not actually take the steps necessary to accomplish the dream.

In the end George becomes weakened by the loss of Lenny, he loses the dream all together.


message 19: by Jordan (new)

Jordan Bailey 'Whore' wouldn't be the word I'd use. Maybe 'attention-starved' or something along that line.

I kinda agree with Dangyankee on the idea that her strength was also her weakness.


message 20: by Stef (new)

Stef Well you can't really blame her for hanging out with other guys. She said she didn't like Curley. She must have been so emotionally upset after losing acting opportunities to marry Curley.
And I agree with Dangyankee. That was really good.


message 21: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 09, 2008 03:26PM) (new)

i think the use of the term wife for her was on purpose as an archetype
the point is that she is merely an object in the man's world
it's speaks of the dehumaizing existence she leads
they all are humiliated by their human condition
curley is not exactly a manly man's name
lenny is easily marganalized even though he may be a superior man
george is the largest and smallest all in one

it's really a beautiful study of humanity

that steinbeck


Jason A sexual experience does not have to do necessarily with penetration. it's a matter of getting off. She gets off on the idea of men looking at her and wanting her, so in a strange way, through abstraction, she is a whore. She is selling herself for the attention she needs to survive in a place where she does not belong and where she is so starved for the attention she needs that she must doll herself up and go out floozying or whatever just so that she doesn't well up and become a pillar of salt.

I like the comment by Hannah that's talking about how everyone is just isolated and that is probably the most comprehensive theme in the book.

She's a whore. But whores aren't bad people. Whores are sad people. She's a sad, sad, sad person, who only needs to fulfill her needs. A whore never needs a client to be considered a whore, just as a lawyer is a lawyer not after he gets his first client but after he passes the bar. Once she makes the decision to become a person who is merely an actress, a player in the game of sensual affairs she becomes that whore. Sad as hell.


Jason i like your comment Dangyankee


message 24: by Dangyankee (new)

Dangyankee Jason - All this talk about Happy and Sad, Good and Bad, I don't think that Steinbeck would agree that all this judgementalism belongs in the discussion. All the characters in this book are archetypal misfits. Bindle-stiffs, failed Boxers (boxers in general are generally distained in 'polite' society), wannabe movie-stars, ranch hands, cripples, elderly poor, blacks. They are all avoided, distained by the middle class (what Andy Capp called the Uppish-Class). The dynamic of the interaction between them makes them real. As an author Steinbeck had the opportunity to have spent time among them and then used that opportunity to speak of their lives, but what he was really talking about was all of our lives (we may be lacking the self-awareness to recognize it).


message 25: by Kp (new)

Kp She's a hooker.


message 26: by Norman (new)

Norman Dangyankee claims that Curley's wife "never did anything to earn the title "tart" or "floozy" or "whore". Well, maybe he should re-read the scene with her and Lenny while "the guys got a horseshoe tenement goin' on". In addition to her 'come-on' appearance - "red ostrich feathers...face made up...little sausage curls...all in place" - she enters "very quietly", comes "quite near to him" and later "move[s] closer" and speaks "soothingly".

Given the context of the novel, her actions are entirely consistent with those of a "tart" or "floozy" though to call her a "whore" may be a bit unfair.


message 27: by Norman (new)

Norman Jason, a whore DOES need a client to be considered a whore. If there were a bar exam for whores, your comparison would be valid; what most distinguishes a whore from a 'loose' or 'easy' woman is that she takes men on as clients and not as casual lovers or flings.

Curley's wife never solicits men for the purpose of earning cash on the side or any other material benefit; she may be lonely and on the prowl for some male company, but she mainly seeks attention. Try asking a whore if all she wants in life is a bit more attention!


message 28: by CB (new)

CB Brim Curley's wife seeks attention but not just due to loneliness. She also gets a rush from the power she weilds over the men she captivates. Her sexuality is the one thing that gives her control over the males who otherwise dominate every aspect of her life.


message 29: by JD (new)

JD Brazil It seems like labeling her as a whore justifies her actions. Does it matter who she has slept with? No. She is a temptress. Lenny was warned to stay away from her, but he was tempted, and she was ultimately the reason that he had to leave the Garden of Eden.

To say that she is a whore misrepresents her. She is Eve, she is the serpent, she is the shit hitting the fan, but there is nothing sexist about her character. This is Steinbeck, there are no wasted characters. Giving her a name would have taken away from the symbolism that is her character; she is stronger without one.


message 30: by Pandora (new)

Pandora Actually JD is on to something with his comment. I think the reason people like to say the wife is a whore is because of their dislike of her. I know I had an intense dislike of her becasue her actions seemed so cruel and dangerous. She likes toying with the men but, seems to disreguard the danger she is putting them into. It is a game to her but, it is the men's lives she is playing with.

Reading this discussion has given me more food for thought about her. Still, I do think she had left Lenny alone. As the old saying goes play with fire and you'll get burn.

About the Eve comment. Milton thought Eve was actually the noble one. She ate the apple to be closer to God. Adam ate the apple to be closer to Eve. Besides, isn't it a good thing that Adam and Eve got out of the garden of Eden? Nothing was happening in the Garden and certainly no books would be written if they stayed.


message 31: by JD (new)

JD Brazil Whatever Eve's motives were probably don't really matter. Are we better out of the Garden? I don't know, that is probably better answered on a theology board. I do think think that Eve and Adam needed to eat the apple, and I think that Lenny needed to be put down in the end.


message 32: by Steve (new)

Steve I believe she's called a 'tart' a couple of times in the book. In the dictionary, that word is defined as a prostitute or a promiscuous woman. Of course, I think it's the men who are saying that about her, so it may not be justified. Is she a whore? Like the previous comments, it depends what one means by whore.
I think what is clear is that some of the men in the story do think she does sleep around based on their interactions with her.


message 33: by jOsEpHiNe (new)

jOsEpHiNe Well, she's not a whore-yet. Who said she wouldn't become one? She was just newlywed.


message 34: by Dangyankee (new)

Dangyankee So much to resond to. First, I believe speculation about what comes after is poor form. The book, and its characters, exist with a concrete beginning and end. Second, the fact that the men characterize her as a "tart" or a "whore" does not make her one. Third, the fact that a woman gets herself all dolled up and draws attention to herself does not qualify as a sexual innuendo, does it? Curley's Wife is beautiful, physically. But she desires attention (don't we all) and she marries a man who is so wound up in himself that he gives her none. Did he court her so that he could have her? Isn't she just a trophy wife? Doesn't that make her a victim of her own strength? A victim of their own strength. Couldn't that be a subtitle for the whole book? Lenny? Curley? George ???


message 35: by Tim (new)

Tim I can't think of another more satisfying incarnation of Batman than the Miller Batman in this and the Dark Knight Returns. Totally fluid. Stark, real, filmic and noir.


Travis 'Year one' is all dark, gritty noir feeling. Batman all on his own.
While the movie is 'it takes a village to raise a Batman'. According to the movie Bruce Wayne didn't do that much to become Batman. He had a committee backing him up.
Without 'Year one', would there have been a 'Begins'? I thought Nolan mentioned 'Year one' as one of the sources that inspired him.


Barry I like the fact that both Batman and Gordon are seen as fallable and learning. This is human; this is relatable. Also, the 'diary' format is a unique perspective.


message 38: by Matt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matt Mazenauer Personally, I'm biased towards Batman, but not at all towards Frank Miller. This took me by surprise, at how unique and believable it was.


message 39: by Christine (new)

Christine Curely's Wife, is not a "whore", she is a lonely woman who wants someone to talk to. She dreams of sexual equality.


Chris Anyone else confused by the fact that "Of Mice and Men" and "Batman" have somehow become one topic???


message 41: by JP (new)

JP Kevin wrote: "Whoever gave this book a 5, would you care to defend your rating? I personally thought Batman Begins had a better story..."

To be fair, B.B. drew pretty heavily from this. That aside, this is really the first treatment of the character as defined in Nolan's movies: dark, obsessed tortured by his parents' murder and by himself. The psychology that we enjoy so much in recent incarnations of the character really has its genesis here. Selina Kyle's characterization in Nolan's third film draws heavily from that in Miller's work. I think that the work stands on its own even without much knowledge of the character, but if you're interested in why it is such an important work (paired with Miller's other Batman masterpiece The Dark Knight Returns) a look at the timeline of the character is helpful. Miller's work was really a departure point for the character, and he and Mazzuchelli have left an undeniable imprint on the character as we think of him today: gritty, obsessed, etc. Plus, Mazzuchelli's artwork is, I would agree with the blurb, the best the character has had.


Ahmad_m Kevin wrote: "Whoever gave this book a 5, would you care to defend your rating? I personally thought Batman Begins had a better story..."

Well, Batman Begins is loosely based on year one, and I think both of them are great but still "Year One" is the original story.


message 43: by Will (new) - rated it 5 stars

Will IV Chris wrote: "Anyone else confused by the fact that "Of Mice and Men" and "Batman" have somehow become one topic???"

Very much so.


Lindsey.parks I was wondering if anyone else caught the Nighthawks reference.


Joseph Kevin wrote: "Whoever gave this book a 5, would you care to defend your rating? I personally thought Batman Begins had a better story..."

I can't remember what my rating was, however I don't know who you are referring to however. Personally I liked the story telling aspect and the artistic style used. But you have to remember times change and certain types of media require the script or certain aspects to be altered in order to fit the intended medium. Now I liked both the graphic novel and the film equally.


message 46: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul Chris wrote: "Anyone else confused by the fact that "Of Mice and Men" and "Batman" have somehow become one topic???"

Indeed, but then again, this might lead to a Batman Elseworld's story in the future :-)


message 47: by Paul (last edited Nov 17, 2012 09:20PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul Joseph wrote: "Kevin wrote: "Whoever gave this book a 5, would you care to defend your rating? I personally thought Batman Begins had a better story..."

I gave it 5 Stars because up to that point that was the best Batman story I'd ever read (and no, I haven't seen the Batman Begins Animation). I thought that Miller actually captured the Batman perfectly (for a Year One)... I also very much liked the side-story of Jim Gordon, humanizing him in way I don't think had ever been achieved before. Add to that what I thought was fantastic art by Mazzuchelli and this graphic novel is at the top, if not the pinnacle, of my prefered list


message 48: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul as far as Curley's wife is concerned, I think she was a very young missunderstood girl that was just seeking attention in the wrong places... sad to think that in the setting of the book, she'll probably never be truly grieved,


Tyler Banks Kevin wrote: "Whoever gave this book a 5, would you care to defend your rating? I personally thought Batman Begins had a better story..."

For One Batman Begins is based heavily off of this exact book. Batman Begins is not an original idea. Your comparing the film to a Comic, a comic that the film as inspired by. The story line to Batman Begins is good, but it's it's own entity. Year One has aided in the rebirth of Batman for the Adult Reader, as well as defined the course by which the franchise has taken Batman. In the DC universe, Batman begins is like a footprint, where Batman Year One is actually a Path that all these steps have followed. The Story line in Year One changed the character for our generation; Begins follows that mold very gracefully. Great movie... But comparing that to a comic like Year 1 is apples to Oranges.


message 50: by Matthew (last edited Feb 08, 2013 02:26PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matthew Blake Can anyone explain the Mice and Men connection? I got halfway through this thread before I realized Curly's wife was from that book and not Batman: Year One, I was about to go dig out the graphic novel and search it for these characters I didn't remember.


« previous 1
back to top