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English Notes

[Last Updated 25 February 2010]

English Literature: Writing Synopses

English Literature: Writing Synopses


Analyze the story Batman Begins, providing each of the following:
(a) bibliographic citation for the published work
(b) story title
(c) story format
(d) author, penciller, inker, colorist, and letterer
(e) story type
(f) time of story
(g) location of story
(h) main characters
(i) synopsis


(a) Bibliographic Citation: DC Comics 2005, Batman Begins: The Movie and Other Tales of the Dark Knight (New York, New York: DC Comics).

(b) Story Title: Batman Begins

(c) Story Format: comic-book movie adaptation

(d) Author: Scott Beatty
Penciller: Kilian Plunkett
Inker: Serge LaPointe
Colorist: Jose Villarrubia
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher

(e) Story Type: action/crime

(f) Time of Story: The time of the story is unspecified, but Bruce's childhood takes place during a depression, which suggests the 1930s. Most of the story takes place before the present day, when Batman was just starting out as a crimefighter in Gotham City.

(g) Location of Story: Most of the story takes place in Gotham City. Part of the story takes place in a prison and on a mountain somewhere else in the world.

(h) Main Characters:

Bruce Wayne, multimillionaire and philanthropist
Rachel Dawes, Bruce's friend since childhood
Henri Ducard/Ra's Al Ghul, leader of the League of Shadows
Thomas Wayne, Bruce's father
Marty Wayne, Bruce's mother
Sergeant/Lieutenant Gordon, police officer
Commissioner Loeb, police commissioner
Alfred, the Wayne butler
Mr. Earle, Wayne Enterprises staff member
Joe Chill, robber who murdered Thomas and Marty Wayne
Carmine Falcone, shared a cell with Chill while in prison
Judge Faden, judge who presided at the court hearing where Chill is awarded early parole
Dr. Crane, psychiatrist who is secretly a drug dealer, and declared three of Carmine Falcone's thugs insane and had them sent to an insane asylum called Arkham
Flass, one of Carmine Falcone's thugs and also an associate of Gordon
Lucius Fox, head of the Wayne Enterprises division for discontinued prototypes

(i) Synopsis:

As children, Bruce Wayne and Rachel Dawes chased each other through the Wayne family garden. While Rachel was chasing Bruce, Bruce stepped on a piece of wood covering the opening to a well and underground cave. The wood broke and he fell into the cave, breaking his arm. While at the bottom of the cave, numerous bats flew around him, scaring him. Bruce's father found him, carried him back up, and brought him into the house.

Several days later, Bruce and his parents were riding on a train. His father told him that his company, Wayne Enterprises, had built the public transportation system in the city, and that Wayne Tower, the location of the company's corporate offices, was located at the center of the city, above the city's water and power systems.

Bruce and his parents went to see a play. The props in the play reminded him of the bats he had encountered in the underground cave, and he asked his father if they could leave. While they were walking through a rundown section of the city, the Waynes were approached by a robber who demanded their wallets and jewelry. The robber shot Bruce's parents, killing them. The police later caught the robber. Bruce felt responsible for his parents' deaths.

Fourteen years later, Bruce was attending Princeton University. He returned to Gotham City to attend a court hearing for the early parole of Joe Chill, the man who murdered his parents. He was being awarded early parole in exchange for testifying against his cellmate, Carmine Falcone. When Chill emerged from the court house, a woman shot him. Judge Faden, who presided at the parole hearing, had been paid by Carmine Falcone to release Chill so that he could be killed.

After the hearing, Bruce visited Carmine Falcone's hideout, to show him that not everyone in Gotham was afraid of him. Falcone's men threw him out. Bruce met a homeless man, exchanged clothes with him, and left Gotham.

Bruce traveled around the world, living among criminals and seeking to understand the criminal mind. Bruce had himself locked inside a prison in order to fight criminals. During breakfast one day, he was attacked by one of the inmates. He subdued the inmate and several others. The guards confined him to solitary confinement to protect the other prisoners from him. While in solitary confinement, Bruce was approached by Henri Ducard, a representative of Ra's Al Ghul, who offered Bruce an opportunity to join the League of Shadows, if he could find a rare blue poppy and bring it to the top of Ra's Al Ghul's mountain.

Bruce found one of the blue poppies, carried it to the top of the mountain, and entered the house there, expecting to meet Ra's Al Ghul, but instead encountered Ducard, who began to fight with him. In the days and weeks that followed, Ducard trained Bruce in fighting techniques. Ra's Al Ghul offered Bruce membership in the League of Shadows, but instead, Bruce fought him. A fire started, killing Ra's Al Ghul. Bruce saved Ducard, left him with an old man, and returned to Gotham.

Bruce returned to Wayne Enterprises, where he met Mr. Earle. He visited Lucius Fox, the head of a division of Wayne Enterprises which stored numerous prototypes of potential products that were never put into mass production. Bruce thought he could use many of these for his crimefighting activities.

One night, Carmine Falcone instructed Flass to distribute drugs. As Flass and his helpers were starting to carry out their instructions, Bruce appeared as Batman and subdued all of them, including Carmine Falcone, and left them for the police to pick up.

At the police station, Carmine Falcone threatened to expose Dr. Crane unless he told Falcone what his plan was. Crane put on a mask and exposed Falcone to a fear toxin gas, disabling Falcone.

Batman went to the Narrows to find Falcone's drug dealer. When he tried to subdue them, Crane arrived, put on his mask, and exposed Batman to the fear toxin gas, disabling him. Batman called Alfred for help. Alfred brought Batman back home, where he administered Fox's antidote to the toxin. Bruce asked Alfred to have Fox manufacture as much antitoxin as possible.

Rachel learned that Falcone had been transferred to Arkham. She went there, where she saw Falcone and Crane. Crane put on his mask and exposed Rachel to the fear toxin gas, disabling her. Batman arrived, immune to Crane's gas, grabbed him and exposed him to his own gas, and asked him who he was working for. Crane said he was working for Ra's Al Ghul, although Al Ghul was presumably dead.

The police arrived, ordering Batman to surrender. Batman left, but returned with his batmobile, picked up Rachel, and brought her to the batcave, where he gave her the antitoxin. Batman left Rachel in the batcave, went up to the mansion as Bruce, where his birthday party was taking place, and asked Alfred to take Rachel home.

One of the guests at the party was Henri Ducard, who, it turned out, was also Ra's Al Ghul. Bruce told his other guests to leave, for their own safety, while Ducard told him that, "Gotham dies tonight."

In the Narrows, Gordon and his men determined that Crane had contaminated the water supply with a liquid form of his fear toxin. An explosion blew a hole in Arkham's security wall, freeing its prisoners.

Rachel woke up in Wayne Manor and left, while Bruce and Ducard were fighting in another part of the building. A fire started. Ducard caused a beam to fall on Bruce and left, leaving one of his men to make sure that Bruce didn't get out alive. But Alfred was there, knocked out the man, and helped Bruce get out of the burning building.

Rachel met Gordon and gave him a sample of the antitoxin. Ducard and the League of Shadows arrived. Ducard turned on an emitter, a device that increased the pressure in the water mains. The pressure threatened to cause the entire city's water supply to explode, exposing everyone to the fear toxin. Ducard had the emitter brought aboard a monorail train. The train headed towards Wayne Tower. Batman reached the train and destroyed the emitter, which lowered the pressure in the water mains.

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