2000 words I have three samples essays do me the same idea but in different words.(Provide an in-depth exploration of the graphic novel Watchmen. You will apply one of the five critical approaches we discussed(psychological) while emphasizing the graphic (visual) elements in your evidence. Your essay must be 2000-3000 words, not including the Works Cited page. Further, youmust cite5-10crediblesources—peer-reviewed scholarly journal articlesor professionally published books—and documentthem usingMLA formatandthe Grossmont College Library databases. Audience, Evidence,and StructureAssume that while your readers havealready readWatchmen,they have not read the outside sources you will be providing to back up your claims. Begin each body paragraph with a claim that relates clearly back to your thesis statement.In other words, do not let your outside sources drive the structure of your essay by simply summarizing what others have to say. Be sure your thesis statement and claims all clearly reflect one of the critical approaches. Find sources that are credible and appropriate.)



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Student Sample #1 (With Images)
Professor Martin
English 124
16 May 2018
Word Count: 2,132
Rorschach’s Digression Due to Tragedy
Life plays a large role into how we develop, whether that is through our parents,
our social class, or other occasions that we build our foundation upon while growing up.
Each of these affects our mind and how we make decisions that
may or may not lead to consequences or misunderstandings.
Throughout life we need a lot of attention and care even though
we may not realize it at that time.​ Provided by Christopher M.
Aanstoos in a journal article titled “Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs”
is the Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs pictured to the right. ​Layered
in each tier of this hierarchy are the things or goals a person
during that stage of life has maintained control of and meets. There are many factors
that should be considered when our mental state is affected negatively as a result of
conflicts faced. We see that with Rorschach’s life in ​Watchmen ​as the hierarchy
becomes a part of his decision making during each stage he undergoes. ​Rorschach’s
past life trauma has resulted in his digression down Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Sample 2
Rorschach, during childhood, experiences self-actualizing needs as he has
everything he wishes to survive. ​Specifically, Rorschach struggles to find a positive
relationship with his mom, who is the one putting food on the table, clothes on his back,
and earning the money to provide for him. Rorschach at this level of the hierarchy has
shelter, safety, family, and he has accomplished knowing he is worth something and is
at the top of the tier with growth. Rorschach’s mother gives him life
itself, but not only that he has a roof over his head and clothes on
his back. In Chapter 6, on page 3, we are looking at a scene where
Walter Kovac’s mother is experiencing an intimate moment with a
man and Kovacs walks in on them. His mother is not happy, but is
doing this for money so that she is able to provide for them.
Kovac’s is then told by his mother on page 4 of chapter six, in
panel 7 that “I should have listened to everybody else! I shoulda
had the abortion.” We see that this piece of tragedy is a large
portion which will lead to future issues Rorschach will face. Our
parents are who we tend to look to for life advice, or even footsteps
to follow as we develop and become our individual selves.
Understanding his mother while at the same time trying to
understand himself, he has struggled with the idea of growing up
and is dependent on his mother for every little thing. ​In a journal
article, titled “Pathways from problems in adolescent family
relationships to midlife mental health via early adulthood
Sample 3
disadvantages- a 26 year longitudinal study,” written by Noora Berg, who is a
researcher in life studies and mental health, as well as many other subjects explains
that, “parents support their children in various ways, such as by providing physical,
human, social and economic capital as well as through normative and behavioral
guidance (…)”(Berg Par #4)​. This idea shows how much a parent really does affect a
child whether they have everything or not. They will develop in the only way they have
come to know and that is through watching those around them. It is more than just food
and water that develop a child, it is actions taken. Walter Kovacs is given all of this
when he is living under his mothers roof under her rules, and her lifestyle. Rorschach
and the way he has developed down the hierarchy has taken what his mom has done to
him and has viewed life differently even without realizing it. Although Rorschach has
had everything he needed as a child the pain he has endured from his mom has left him
to drift lower down the hierarchy. Developing a foundation of life comes from childhood
experiences, and if they are not developed to the full extent they need to be such as
Walter’s, then life will no longer have a positive outlook. Clarity will no longer be given
as to how life should be and things will be looked at with more animosity.
Esteem needs and social needs are slowly missing as Rorschach enters his
middle aged years. During this period of time as Walter Kovacs, and only being sixteen
he had run away from the children’s home he was living at. Kovacs had started working
for a garment industry. In chapter 6, page 10, panel 1,
Rorschach explains that, “Job bearable but unpleasant. Had to
handle female clothing”. This statement made by Walter
Sample 4
illustrates how his needs of accomplishment are being shut down by nobody but
himself. Although he has a new job and is becoming an individual he has yet to come to
terms with his own worth. By him stating the negative aspects that go along with the job,
he is not looking at the fact that he is growing and developing as an individual. His idea
of relationships have been broken and no longer can anyone be trusted. When studying
the image more in depth, we see that the man behind Kovacs has his hand laying on his
back. Walter’s face looks as though he is frightened, therefore, what is portrayed here is
the sense of belonging that is lost due to the negative experiences that Walter has
encountered . Walter looks scared and this is due to his past. No one can be trusted
any longer and he does not have the ability to accept relationships with others.
Therefore, he feels as though he does not fit in overall which has affected his social life.
Christina D. Bethell, who is a professor in child and adolescent health measurement
with a PhD, as well as a few others have stated in their Journal Article “Methods to
Assess Adverse Childhood Experiences of Children and Families: Toward Approaches
to Promote Child Well-being in Policy and Practice,” that “ACEs assessment relates to
exposures to adverse experiences that can disrupt the safety, stability, and nourishing
qualities of a child’s primary relationships and environment and that, in turn, pose risk
for trauma and chronic stress linked to healthy development and wellbeing”(Bethell
Par.#11).​ This statement describes how a relationship, what it means to belong, and the
healthy aspects of life are affected by different life exposures. These experiences have
affected Rorschach’s sense of being wanted and have left him on his own to protect
Sample 5
himself alone. Rorschach’s lack of relationships are not the only thing holding him
back. Walter’s life choices are leading him to problems that are hard to repair.
Kovacs, before transitioning to Rorschach, experiences a lack of security in
himself. During his life and the issues that he faced, Walter never really felt as though
he had an identity or life that was safe overall. He did not have a steady job or even the
defense he needed to protect himself. As Walter he was just a normal person. When he
started working in the dress shop, we see the dress that was made
and never picked up Walter had taken home. Illustrated in chapter
6, page 10, panel 4, Walter begins to create the mask which will
eventually be his future identity as Rorschach. This image shows
the security that he lacks when being himself, while reflecting his
own imagination of always wanting to be someone he is not. He is
placed at this lower stage because he does not have the means to
live a secure life as of a job, and his whole identity alone which is not protecting him
when trouble is presented. The trauma he has faced has affected the way he protects
himself, therefore, he does not have a steady foundation to base his security upon. ​In
the article titled “Our Unconscious Mind” written by John Bargh, who is a social
psychologist working at Yale points out that, “our unconscious mind may not nudge us
to choose a particular option, but it may help muster the necessary motivation to
actually achieve it”(Bargh Par.#33)​. ​This is important because as Walter has entered
this stage, he is wanting to reach the level of security necessary without realizing it, yet
he does not have the motivation that is needed to reach this point in his life. He has yet
Sample 6
to become Rorschach the masked superhero he has always wanted to be in order to
protect himself.
Rorschach, as a masked superhero, is now at the bottom tier of Maslow’s
Hierarchy of Needs with no life necessities due to past experiences. At this level of the
Hierarchy he is missing the necessities such as food, water, and shelter. This all begins
after he witnesses two dogs fighting over a bone in which was a
little girls shown on page 20 of chapter 6 panels 5,6,7, and 8. This
image then leads us to where we are then first introduced to
Rorschach as he is now masked, and identified officially. While
maintaining his identity as Rorschach, we are given more visuals
as to how he has none of what is needed in the bottom tier of the
Hierarchy. Images shown on Chapter 1, page 11, panel 5 reveal
Rorschach taking sugar cubes from Dan as this is what will be his food to keep him
going. This is important to bring up because it shows how at this stage in his life he is
dependent on the food of others because he does not have any of his own. This idea
and image paint a bigger picture as to how he has struggled even as the person he has
always wanted to be. Rorschach and his Physiological needs are not being met
because of his dreams and aspirations to be a
masked superhero. Due to him being wanted for
murder there is no stable source of shelter as well.
We see that on Page 11 of Chapter 7 in panel 9. He
is constantly on the run to keep his identity protected
Sample 7
because this is the only thing that is positive in his life. Presented in this image are dirty
dishes and his landlord which help us see how he spends a majority of his time away
from home running from problems. With his hidden identity Rorschach cannot live a
normal life with everything he needs. ​A journal article Written by Laura Szanto called
“Childhood Trauma Experience and the Expression of Problematic Sexual Behavior in
Children and Adolescents in State Custody” states that “current research indicates that
children who are maltreated exhibit more psychiatric symptoms[…]”(Szanto Par.#2).​ The
mental instability that Rorschach faces as a result of struggling to be who he wanted,
has led him to a hard place of understanding himself. This is all due to the struggle he
faced as a child with his mother affecting who he is as Rorschach.
To conclude we are guided through Rorschach’s life where we are shown how
Rorschach’s past life trauma has resulted in his digression down Maslow’s Hierarchy of
Needs. Looking at the top tier self-actualizing needs, we are given a glimpse of his
childhood where he is talked down to by his mother who is a provider for him. This
affects his relationships with others in which he no longer trusts people. Later,
Rorschach is seen at the two tiers under the highest one where he lacks a sense of
accomplishment and belonging. This is illustrated by his work in the dress shop, where
he is uneasy to create a relationship and really connect to the job, as well as to the man
guiding him along the way. Next, Walter is experiencing a level of security when he first
puts on the Mask that he had made out of the fabric from the dress a women never
picked up. This is is where he begins to feel safe, yet he still lacks the confidence in
himself as being just Walter. This missing piece affects every other stage that is
Sample 8
essential in a healthy life. At last, Rorschach is who he has always wanted to be and is
now a masked superhero. This is where he only experiences life and its physiological
needs with a lack of life’s major necessities, water, food, and shelter. We are given a
more developed idea of this struggle that Rorschach faces in more ways than one. Life
is not based on dreams achieved, and Rorschach is a prime example as to how you can
have what you have always wanted, but it will never be good enough to survive. Overall,
life trauma as we have learned through Rorschach takes away from the minds well
being and limits people when it comes to the ability to live and we saw that with the
different stages that Rorschach had undergone.
Sample 9
Works Cited
Aanstoos, Christopher M. “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.” ​Salem Press Encyclopedia of
Health​, 2013. EBSCO​host​,
Bargh, John A. “Our Unconscious Mind.” ​Scientific American​, vol. 310, no. 1, Jan. 2014,
Pp. 30-37.
aspx?di rect=true&db=pbh&AN=93322290&site=ehost-live.
Berg, Noora, et al. “Pathways from Problems in Adolescent Family Relationships to
Midlife Mental Health via Early Adulthood Disadvantages – a 26-Year
Longitudinal Study.” ​Plos ONE​, vol. 12, no. 5, 26 May 2017, pp. 1-16.
EBSCO​host​, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0178136.
Bethell, Christina D., et al. “Methods to Assess Adverse Childhood Experiences of
Children and Families: Toward Approaches to Promote Child Well-Being in
Policy and Practice.” ​Academic Pediatrics​, vol. 17, 2017 Supplement, pp.
S51-S69. EBSCO​host​,
More, Alan. Watchmen. DC Comics, 1986.
Szanto, Laura, et al. “Childhood Trauma Experience and the Expression of
Sample 10
Problematic Sexual Behavior in Children and Adolescents in State Custody.”
Residential Treatment for Children & Youth​, vol. 29, no. 3, Jul-Sep2012, pp.
231-249. EBSCO​host​, doi:10.1080/0886571X.2012.702519.
Professor Sarah Martin
English 124
22 May 2018
Word Count: 2256
Watchmen​ through the Eyes of Maslow: A Psychological Approach
In the graphic novel, ​Watchmen, ​written by Alan Moore, the different characters
have varied motivations to the way they act and behave. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
suggests that there are five levels to fulfill before one can reach the top tier of
self-actualization. The other levels, starting from the bottom, include, physiological
needs such as food, water, and rest; safety needs; belongingness and love needs;
esteem needs; and as previously stated, self-actualization. ​By looking at Maslow’s
hierarchy of needs, we can decifier the why and how in which each of the characters fit
into a specific level of the pyramid.
Rorschach’s overall regression down the hierarchy demonstrates his lack of
motivations beyond anything other than his physiological needs. Towards the beginning
of the novel, as Rorschach breaks into Dan’s house, in order to present him with the
news of Edward Blake’s death, he is seen sitting at the table eating cold beans and
stealing sugar cubes. Rorschach’s “behind the scenes” lifestyle involves going out at
night as Rorschach and blending in as his true self, Walter Kovacs, during the day. His
lack of a real job serves as one of the main reasons to his inability to provide the basic
needs like food and water for himself. Because of this, he is constantly seen stealing
food from others or surviving off of the things he can carry in his pockets, such as sugar
cubes. Robert Taormina and Jennifer Gao, two professors of psychology, write about
the satisfaction of each of the levels in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in a piece titled,
“Maslow and the Motivation Hierarchy: Measuring Satisfaction of the Needs.”​ In
discussing the first level, they present, “Physiological needs can be operationally
defined as the lack of chemicals, nutrients, or internal(e.g., exercise/health) or
environmental (e.g.,temperatures) conditions necessary for the body to survive”
(Taormina and Gao 157).​ When lacking the basic needs in life, one’s body can begin to
break down and no longer function as before. Rorschach’s neglect to all of these things
causes him to fall to the lowest level of needs, where his body will soon struggle to
survive. Moreover, on his way to Jacobi’s house,
Rorschach stops at an alleyway to pick up the
clothes that he had left for himself earlier.
Instead of keeping them in his house, Rorschach
lives off of the streets of New York as if the city,
as a whole, is his home. Taormina and Gao
explain the theory that involves how single men and women
are more likely to fall under the lowest level of the hierarchy
due to the fact that there overall well-being is driven by their personal desire. When a
person lacks this desire in themselves, ​Taormina and Gao express, “[this] could result in
irregular intakes of food or inadequate amounts of sleep, both of which would yield
unsatisfactory levels of physiological needs satisfaction” (Taormina and Gao 171).​ Due
to the fact that Rorschach lives on his own with no responsibilities, he chooses to put
effort towards his vigilante acts rather than his personal care. The absence of motivation
in himself may stem from the lack of support Rorschach received as a child.
Furthermore, in discussing family support, “the family is the strongest and most
important unit in most societies worldwide (…) it seems that the family emotional
connection is sufficiently strong that it extends to satisfaction of physiological needs”
(Taormina and Gao 170).​ A strong support system allows people to satisfy the basic
needs in life; they will feel as if they have the motivation to care for themselves in every
way. Rorschach, on the other hand, comes from an abusive family
that neglected him as a young child. This neglect is captured
through the mask of his costume. As he puts his attire on, we can
decipher that Rorschach no longer sees himself in his true identity,
Walter kovacs. His mask has become a part of him; it serves as the
person he would rather be. The lack of family in his life, both at a
young age and now as an adult, has caused Rorschach to forget
about his true identity enitirely. After discussing the physiological needs, we can infer
how Laurie fits into the love and belongingness tier of the hierarchy.
Sample 4
Laurie’s constant want for relationships demonstrates that her physiological and
safety needs have been met. Throughout the book we see that Laurie is the one
character who never seems to be alone; she is always with someone that she has a
relationship with. Whether it is a romantic or familial, Laurie’s desire to belong with
someone strengthens as she gets older. When Jon is first introduced to the whole
group of crimebusters, him and Laurie hit it off with each other. Although this may seem
as a normal encounter, we
uncover throughout the
scene that Laurie and Jon
met and started a
relationship all while she is at
the young age of sixteen. We can conclude from this
encounter that Laurie’s internal instincts of wanting a relationship began at an early
stage of her life.​ This instinct is supported by the idea of Taormina and Gao as they
describe, “When physiological and safety- security needs are largely gratified, people
‘hunger for affectionate relations with people in general’’(Taormina and Gao 158).​ When
a person has satisfied the physiological and safety-security needs; they will
automatically feel this need of belonging in their life. We can see that Laurie’s safety
needs are satisfied when her and Dan get attacked on their
way to dinner. Instead of relying on Dan to save her from the
attackers, she is fully capable of fighting right alongside him.
This instinct is discussed further, again by Taormina and Gao,
Sample 5
as they clarify, “This reaction may be ‘instinctive’, that is, performed without conscious
design or intentional adaptation, to facilitate survival in response to predators”
(Taormina and Gao 157).​ In other words, whether they know it or not, everyone ha …
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