Joker Jumps Back into Theaters, Spurring Talk About Mental Illness


Todd Phillips

Cate Cato, Staff Writer

We often only see one side of a situation, which allows us to only have one perspective. Jokershows a side of the story that none of us have seen before, and it has left us wondering if maybe the Joker is not truly the bad guy we have all come to know…

Mental illnesses are not something we can often point out. Many people keep them hidden, or do not openly talk about their illnesses. In the film, the main character Arthur Fleck has a condition called Pathological Laughter. This condition makes him start uncontrollably laughing, even if the laughter does not match his mood. As a result, people are cruel and violent towards him because they do not understand when he has outbursts.

Arthur loved to be a clown for kids, and he wanted to be someone who could make others laugh and bring them joy. However, it all went downhill when he got fired. Arthur has always been in love with the comedy show “Murray Show” and decides he wants to pursue his own career in standup comedy. He tries this, but his laughing condition takes over, and he cannot get a single word out. Videos of the comedy show came out, and he was made fun of.

Arthur wants to feel like he is a part of the world, but everyone bullies and disregards him. He feels isolated from everyone, and it drives him to madness. The man once known as Arthur paints on a mask and transforms into the killer we all know as the Joker. He starts killing, as it is something he thinks will make him feel seen and like a part of the world.

People are not born insane, they are driven to it. Because of ridicule, Arthur Fleck’s view on the world was negative, and he never felt happy because no one gave him the chance. If Arthur was not bullied, or if people would think before they act, he might have not been driven to become the murderer that he is. The truth is, we cannot just pick out people who have mental illnesses. We do not know, and that is why everyone needs to be kind and compassionate instead of being a jerk.