Batman Begins : Rachel and Bruce (521 words)
Let’s take a quick look at a very small moment of Batman Begins: The opening.
Bruce is running after Rachel. They’re both children at the time. She seems to have stolen something from him.
She flees from him in a greenhouse.
So, they’re in the garden of Eden. Unspoiled, innocent. No sex, no drugs, no exterior gaze.
When Bruce catches up Rachel, she shows him something that she has found in “his” garden: an arrowhead.
The flowers represent female sexuality, whereas the arrow is a penis. It penetrates and wounds (when it’s for the first time). Entering the greenhouse is entering the realm of Rachel’s sexuality.
This scene shows Rachel choosing Bruce as her future lover. We shouldn’t mistake the metaphor with what is supposed to be on the kids’ mind. Rachel is not thinking about having sex, she is just… I don’t know. Kids have love stories, they simply don’t exactly work the same way as adults.
Anyway, Rachel is all like “YOUR DICK IS MINE” sorry… “Finders keepers !” but Bruce steals the arrowhead and flees from the little girl. Hide and seek is also a sexual game. Adults very often play it without realising when there is attraction in the air.Bruce hides on the occluded well and looks at Rachel when she isn’t looking at him.
That’s when he realises he wants her for himself. Again, I wouldn’t say it is sexual, but it’s the childhood equivalent. Maybe he would express that with “I want to marry Rachel when I’m older.” What’s important is the feeling of exclusive desire, feeling that he cannot express when in front her. Rachel is not ashamed of what she wants, whereas Bruce flees from it before realising he wants it too when hidden, when no one is looking at him.
We’re faced with the concept of René Girard’s difference between an individual and an object. Individuals have their own desires, objects haven’t. And thus, the more you let yourself be commanded your desires, the more you let yourself be treated like an object. From that point of view, consumer society is intensely objectifying for example.
If Bruce is taking the arrowhead back it’s because his desires are his father’s. He is not free to offer himself to Rachel because he already is someone else’s. And when he looks at her and realises that he wants to be hers: the wood boards under him let go and it’s the fall.
Thomas Wayne’s supposed perfection is at the price of everybody else’s individuality. The world’s good is his responsibility and therefore anybody else’s goodness loses its meaning, its worth. He is god, love, devotion, sacrifice, generosity, benevolence and we’re all little disgusting vampires as a consequence. Bruce first. The boy cannot have his own unchecked desires, he has to abide by his father's law before.
So, Bruce’s phobia stems from his father’s personality, not from the bats at the bottom of the well. Bruce has discovered, thanks to Rachel, that there are things that he “selfishly” wants for himself and not for the greater good, and he experiences a huge loss of self-esteem because of this simple discovery. He wanted to be an angel, and now realises he is evil. He was happy to be his dad's toy until suddenly he wants his own life.
Look at Martha Wayne, is she more than Thomas' wife ? She is always a two-dimensional figure because Thomas devours everything around himself. The benefactor is truly a villain.