Only yesterday, I read an article saying that the Joker in The Dark Knight isn’t a villain, but a hero.
Click here to read it.
My conclusion: No. The Joker is not a hero.
The concept or definition of a Hero must be one that accommodates the possibility of other people abiding by the principles of the said Hero and personifying the person of interest and his ideology.
Now, by this definition of mine, if the Joker were a Hero, he would inspire a community that would thrive on the idea of every other thing on earth being a joke. People who will kill at will, people who will blow up things at will, people who have their own sense of judgement, people who inflict fear, people who are erratic and who believe in the idea of “The Ends Justify the Means”.
People fear what they don’t understand. That is why the Joker is such an icon!
The Joker’s actions aren’t causal. He doesn’t care about the consequence or the motive. His only motive: Create chaos.
He doesn’t really care about the mob, doesn’t really want to purify the City, eliminate corruption or anything as such. He is the Mob. He is the Reckoning.
He got rid of the mob because they weren’t efficient anymore. They weren’t true criminals anymore. They had a system in place and everything was smooth. Meaning, the mob had no problem in distribution of their drugs or weapons, they had no problem in hiding their money, they had no problems from the law, the people knew they couldn’t do anything and the Batman had a set of rules that governed his action, which kind of made him predictable and static too. All these made Gotham stagnant, ordered and non-chaotic, which is against the principle of the Joker.
So, to set things again in his favor, he, like a stone causing ripples in still water, threw himself at the mob and the Batman and made everything “right” again.
Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It’s fair!
It isn’t just the mob, even when Gotham settles down again, with Batman posing as a symbol of Hope, corruption being at an all time low, mob all vanished and people all peaceful, Joker would again introduce anarchy. He would again bring in turbulence and he would again force things to be chaotic.
Oh, you. You just couldn’t let me go, could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You truly are incorruptible, aren’t you? You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.
So, you see, he just needs to be active, to make things less stagnant and more fun.
Therefore, no, he isn’t a Hero. He is a man who we cannot understand. He is the villain Batman deserves, but one he cannot get rid of.
This is my take on the Joker.