Watchmen

Watchmen

by

Alan Moore

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Kitty Genovese Character Analysis

Kitty Genovese is a woman who orders the dress that Rorschach ultimately makes his mask out of. When Rorschach is 18, Kitty is tortured, raped, and murdered in plain sight in front of her apartment, which so infuriates him that he begins hunting criminals as his vigilante persona. Kitty Genovese is also a real-life historical figure whose brutal murder—which was overheard by many of her neighbors—gave rise to what’s now known as “the bystander effect.” The bystander effect is a phenomenon in which people in a group who notice something obviously wrong assume that, because the problem is so obvious and there are plenty of people around, someone else will handle it—but because everyone thinks this, no one actually does anything to intervene.
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Kitty Genovese Character Timeline in Watchmen

The timeline below shows where the character Kitty Genovese appears in Watchmen. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6: The Abyss Gazes Also
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Identity and Empowerment Theme Icon
...between, so that black shapes flow around—“black and white. Moving. […] No gray.” The client, Kitty Genovese , rejected the dress, so Kovacs takes it home with him and learns to handle... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Moralist vs. Utilitarian Ethics Theme Icon
Identity and Empowerment Theme Icon
Nihilism and Meaning Theme Icon
Two years pass. One day, Kovacs reads in the newspaper that Kitty Genovese was raped, tortured, and murdered right in front of her apartment, within earshot of at... (full context)