2 Hidden Lessons From The Dark Knight Rises

Warning: there will be some spoilers in this article, so if the title wasn’t enough of a warning you now know to read with caution. If you haven’t seen the Dark Knight Rises then you’re doing yourself a disfavor. Not only is it a fantastic end to an unbelievable trilogy, which proved that a comic book movie could be more than just a generic action film, it also has a number of lessons that any college student should consider in their day to day life.

Fear is Good

Batman had to learn that fear was necessary to defeat Bane. Without fear, he didn’t have the will to do what needed to be done. Fear of failure doesn’t make you weak. It means you care. It means you are invested in what you are trying to accomplish. A little bit of fear gives you the urgency to complete your work and accomplish your goals. If you aren’t afraid of failing, you might want to examine if you have any goal. I’m not saying that freaking out over finals is healthy (though it happens to the best of us), but a little dose of anxiety can help kick you into gear.

A little bit of worry helps increase your motivation to complete difficult tasks, such as final papers or giant musclebound men. If you have a few butterflies in your stomach before an exam, think of it as the fuel you need to pummel those standardized tests into submission!

People Aren’t Evil

Typically, we like to think of bad guys being like the Joker, but in reality people don’t usually commit crimes because they enjoy lawbreaking. You, your friends, and even the people on your floor who play music too loudly and way too late at night all make decisions naively based on the idea that you aren’t doing anything wrong. Take the villians of Dark Knight Rises, there’s Bane, Talia al Ghul, and even Selina Kyle (Catwoman), who can be a considered a villain to some extent.

Each one has compelling reasons that can justify their actions. Talia wants to destroy Gotham and Batman because Batman killed her father Ra’s al Ghul (the featured villian of Batman begins), preventing him from cleansing the city, which he viewed as being overrun with crime. Bane was born in a prison and helped Talia escape from it, in return she is the only person who has shown Bane any kind of love. Naturally, he wants to protect her from Batman and help her demolish Gotham because the world has only shown him cruelty.

Selina Kyle is a thief who wants a new life. While she commits terrible atrocities, she also has pretty good reason to do so. Keep that in mind when you find yourself looking down on one of your dorm neighbors or classmates. Maybe they didn’t think you could hear them blasting Carly Rae Jepsen at 3 AM.

I could go on and on about how Bane is actually a great model of personal responsibility and achievement. Unlike Wayne, he worked hard to make a life out of nothing, but I’ll stop myself before this gets out of control! Let me know what you took away from Dark Knight Rises in the comments. And if you haven’t seen it yet, go out immediately to your local theater. You don’t want to miss this one!

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Ryan Schapals

Ryan Schapals

Ryan Schapals is a senior at DePaul University studying Creative Writing and Psychology. Outside of class, Ryan can be found working in the Pysch Lab or at a local health clinic. When he's not distracted by cat videos, he tries to balance his time between playing guitar, writing prose, and running around the soccer field.