Breaking Bad: The Transformation of Walter White

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A dismal 1.4 million people tuned in to watch the pilot episode of Breaking Bad in January of 2008, but an astonishing 10.28 million viewers tuned in to watch the Breaking Bad finale (Kissell). This exponential increase in viewership can be attributed, partially, to the development of the characters in the show, especially Walter White. As fans of the show tune in each week to watch, they begin to see that Walter is not at all like the meek schoolteacher they initially thought he was. Truly, the story of Walter White is the story of change. Both loved and hated, Walter White went from pitiful sufferer, to ultimate villain. Walter began cooking meth as a means for extra income. After he was diagnosed with cancer, he realized that he needed another source of income to pay for his treatment and support his family. In two short years, Walter becomes the best meth cook in the nation, and arguably the world. To become so successful, Walter abandoned his morals by murdering, stealing, and lying his way to the top in what went from part-time job to lifetime commitment. While his reasons for entering the drug trade were heroic, Walter became blinded by greed and selfishness, and is undoubtedly a villain because of his egotistic pride, his selfishness, his greed, his ruthless ability to manipulate those around him, and his immoral choices. Ultimately, these qualities led him to his demise.

"You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain” (“Dark Knight Quotes”). This quote from The Dark Knight perfectly describes Walter’s career as a meth cook. Walter began cooking meth in order to provide for his family. However, Walter soon became obsessed with this career and decided...

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