This is my essay for the common application is response to prompt #4: Talk about a fictional characters influence on you.
I'm looking for how I can improve in any way, in particular I'm concerned about my conclusion, which I'm afraid might seem too cliche. Any help is appreciated.
My initial idolization of Batman was derived from the purest of motivations: admiration of Karate skills. Its true, in my youth the reason I found Batman so enthralling was his incredible skill at unarmed combat and his raw ability to be physically heroic. Somewhere in my young mind I registered that I admired his courage and persistence too, but these were secondary in my mind and I was much too busy zooming around the living room clumsily karate chopping furniture…show more content… Throughout his 50 year run as a character he has never killed one of his enemies. We see him struggle with the decision to kill his defeated foes issue after issue, always considering the fact that killing the Joker might save hundreds of lives. We see him shake with rage and scream his desire to end his most hated antagonist's life, but we never see him act on it.
And many people consider this far from a good thing. I remember watching Batman cartoons with my brother and his friends and having them constantly (and bizarrely frantically) question and mock Batman's decision to leave the Joker alive. They chalked it up to stupidity and blind stubbornness, and may people still attribute it to that.
But possible ramifications aside there's no denying that the idea of absolute principles – the idea we draw lines for ourselves which we will never cross- has had a profound effect on me. Batman is human, he struggles with emotions and compulsions and pressures just like anyone, and his ability to control and check these powers is what makes him a hero, not his karate or…show more content… Virtue is the ability to take the impulses we feel that push us to hurt, or run, or to lose control and deny them. It's the ability to say "no" to the darkness that lives and crawls and bubbles forth from inside of us; to master ourselves and rid ourselves of doubt, fear and hate. Nobility demonstrated without this basic capacity is hollow. Acting without fear is brashness, not courage. Living without anger isn't peace, its apathy. And temperance without greed is indifference.
This restraint and principle is always with me. I try to stick to my principles, I do not break the rules of behavior I have set for myself and I do not intend to. As odd as it sounds, in this way Batman's always with me. I feel his shadowy image in my mind every time I reject drugs, or every time I overcome the momentary desire to simply walk into a movie instead of paying. He's there to help me resist sudden moments of curiosity and weakness, to help me push away my greed or lust, and to help me relax in moments of sudden anger or offense. He's my rodent-garbed guardian, and I couldn't ask to be in better