Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gunga Din

Chapter 1, Page 4, Panel 4

In Watchmen, the diner frequented by the characters, especially Rorschach, is named Gunga Diner. This is a reference to Rudyard Kipling's famous poem "Gunga Din." The poem tells the story of a native Indian who serves as a water carrier for British soldiers fighting in India. The most famous part of the poem is the last stanza which reads, "Tho' I've belted you and flayed you, By the livin' Gawd that made you, You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!" Moore includes this reference because Gunga Din illustrates a strong parallel to the masked superheroes in Watchmen in the graphic novel. They do a thankless job before the Keene Act and the general populace turns against them, but in the end, several characters remark that maybe they need the Watchmen.