Watchmen

Watchmen

by

Alan Moore

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Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the DC Comics edition of Watchmen published in 1986.
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Chapter 1: At Midnight, All the Agents… Quotes

The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout “save us!” …and I'll look down and whisper “No.”

Related Characters: Walter Kovacs (Rorschach) / The Doomsayer (speaker)
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:

This city is dying of rabies. Is the best I can do to wipe random flecks of foam from its lips? Never despair. Never surrender. I leave the human cockroaches to discuss their heroin and child pornography. I have business elsewhere with a better class of person.

Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:

Meeting with Veidt left a bad taste in my mouth. He is pampered and decadent, betraying even his own shallow, liberal affectations. Possibly homosexual? Must remember to investigate further.

Page Number: 27
Explanation and Analysis:

Because there is good and there is evil, and evil must be punished. Even in the face of Armageddon I shall not compromise on this. But there are so many deserving of retribution… and there is so little time.

Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2: Absent Friends Quotes

Osterman: You sound bitter. You’re a strange man, Blake. You have a strange attitude to life and war.

Blake: Strange? Listen… Once you figure out what a joke everything is, being a comedian is the only thing makes sense.

Osterman: The charred villages, the boys with necklaces of human ears… these are part of the joke?

Blake: Hey… I never said it was a good joke. I’m just playin’ along with the gag…

Related Characters: Jon Osterman (Dr. Manhattan) (speaker), Edward Blake (The Comedian) (speaker)
Page Number: 55
Explanation and Analysis:

Dreiberg: […] The country’s disintegrating. What’s happened to the American dream?

Blake: It came true. You’re lookin’ at it.

Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:

Yes, we were crazy, we were kinky, we were Nazis, all those things that people say. We were also doing something because we believed in it. We were attempting, through our personal efforts, to make our country a safer and better place to live in. Individually, on our separate patches of turf, we did too much good in our respective communities to be written off as mere aberration, whether social or sexual or psychological.

Related Characters: Hollis Mason (the original Nite Owl) (speaker)
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4: Watchmaker Quotes

They explain that the name [Dr. Manhattan] has been chosen for the ominous associations it will raise in America’s enemies. They’re shaping me into something gaudy and lethal… It’s all getting out of my hands.

Related Characters: Jon Osterman (Dr. Manhattan) (speaker)
Page Number: 122
Explanation and Analysis:

As I come to understand Vietnam and what it implies about the human condition, I also realizes that few humans will permit themselves such an understanding.

Page Number: 129
Explanation and Analysis:

Perhaps the world is not made. Perhaps nothing is made. Perhaps it simply is, has been, will always be there… A clock without a craftsman.

Related Characters: Jon Osterman (Dr. Manhattan) (speaker)
Related Symbols: Clocks
Page Number: 138
Explanation and Analysis:

It is the oldest ironies that are still the most satisfying: man, when preparing for bloody war, will orate loudly and most eloquently in the name of peace.

Related Characters: Milton Glass (speaker), Jon Osterman (Dr. Manhattan)
Page Number: 140
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5: Fearful Symmetry Quotes

My things were where I’d left them, waiting for me. Putting them on, I abandoned my disguise and became myself, free from fear or weakness or lust. My coat, my shoes, my spotless gloves. My face.

Related Symbols: Rorschach’s Mask
Page Number: 162
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6: The Abyss Gazes Also Quotes

Black and white. Moving. Changing shape… But not mixing. No gray. Very, very beautiful.

Related Symbols: Rorschach’s Mask
Page Number: 188
Explanation and Analysis:

[The Comedian] understood man’s capacity for horrors and never quit. Saw the world’s black underbelly and never surrendered. Once a man has seen, he can never turn his back on it. Never pretend it doesn’t exist. No matter who orders him to look the other way. We do not do this thing because it is permitted. We do it because we are compelled.

Page Number: 193
Explanation and Analysis:

Shock of impact ran along my arm. Jet of warmth spattered on chest, like hot faucet. It was Kovacs who said “mother” then, muffled under latex. It was Kovacs who closed his eyes. It was Rorschach who opened them again.

Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:

This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It’s us. Only us.

Page Number: 204
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7: A Brother to Dragons Quotes

Looking back, it all seems so… well, childish, I guess. Just a schoolkid’s fantasy that got out of hand. That’s, y’know, with hindsight… on reflection.

Page Number: 216
Explanation and Analysis:

It’s this war, the feeling that it’s unavoidable. It makes me feel so powerless. So impotent.

Page Number: 231
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9: The Darkness of Mere Being Quotes

Juspeczyk: Humanity is about to become extinct. Doesn’t that bother you? All those dead people…

Osterman: All that pain and conflict done with? All that needless suffering over at last? No… No, that doesn’t bother me. All those generations of struggle, what purpose did they ever achieve? All that effort, and what did it lead to?

Page Number: 290
Explanation and Analysis:

Osterman: Look at it—a volcano as large as Missouri, its summit fifteen miles high, piercing even the atmospheric blanket. Breathtaking.

Juspeczyk: Breathtaking? Jon, what about the war? You’ve got to prevent it! Everyone will die…

Osterman: And the universe will not even notice.

Page Number: 298
Explanation and Analysis:

Thermodynamic miracles…Events with odds against so astronomical they’re effectively impossible, like oxygen spontaneously becoming gold. I long to observe such things. And yet in each human coupling, a thousand million sperm vie for a single egg. Multiply those odds by countless generations, against the odds of your ancestors being alive; meeting; siring this precise son; that precise daughter…

Page Number: 306
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11: Look on My Works, Ye Mighty… Quotes

Dreiberg: …And anyway, this is Adrian for God’s sake. We know him. He never killed anybody, ever. Why would he want to destroy the world?

Kovacs: Insanity, perhaps?

Dreiberg: Ha. Well that’s a tricky one… I mean, who’s qualified to judge someone like that? This is the world’s smartest man we’re talking about here, so how can you tell? How can anyone tell if he’s gone crazy?

Page Number: 349
Explanation and Analysis:

Teleported to New York, my creature’s death would trigger mechanisms within its massive brain, cloned from a human sensitive… the resultant psychic shockwave killing half the city.

Page Number: 374
Explanation and Analysis:

What does fighting crime mean, exactly? Does it mean upholding the law when a woman shoplifts to feed her children, or does it mean struggling to uncover the ones who, quite legally, have brought about her poverty?

Page Number: 389
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12: A Stronger Loving World Quotes

Juspeczyk: Dan, all those people, they’re dead. They can’t disagree or eat Indian food, or love each other… Oh, it’s sweet. Being alive is so damn sweet.

Dreiberg: Laurie? Wh-what do you want me to do?

Juspeczyk: I want you to love me. I want you to love me because we’re not dead […] I want to see you and taste you and smell you, just because I can.

Page Number: 404
Explanation and Analysis:

Veidt: I did the right thing, didn’t I? It all worked out in the end.

Jon: “In the end”? Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends.

Related Characters: Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias) (speaker), Jon Osterman (Dr. Manhattan) (speaker)
Page Number: 409
Explanation and Analysis:
No matches.