Walter White: The Selfish Villain
Sociopath, power hungry, determined, unforgiving, these are just a few words that describe Breaking Bad main character Walter White. Walter White is perceived as an antihero to some fans of the show. In an article titled “Stop calling Walter White an anti-hero” Kayla Upadhyaya states that she cringes every time she reads a tweet along the lines of “Heisenberg is such a boss!” (Upadhyaya, “Stop calling Walter White an anti-hero”). To my understanding a man who makes meth, sells it and will stop at nothing to weasel himself out of a situation for the safety of his own is far from being any type of hero and shouldn’t be glorified as a “boss”. Walter White is essentially evil. Todd VanDerWerff explains Walter in a very evil and true way. He states, “He’s a man who pushes further and further into his dark heart, who unleashes all manner of destruction upon the world, both at large and in his own home. He is a murderer, many times over; he is a man who abuses his wife; and he is a force of fear for everyone who sees his true face. He is, for lack of a better word, Satan.” (VanDerWerff, “Breaking Bad Ended the Anti-hero Genre by Introducing Good and Evil”). Key word, Satan. Urban Dictionary defines an anti-hero as a flawed hero, and therefore, much more interesting then the more traditional heroes. They can be working on the side of good, but with a tragic flaw, or a horrible past, or for reasons that are selfish and not entirely "pure" (Urban Dictionary). Walter White definitely shows the selfish part of an anti-hero but doesn’t show much good, mainly cause he causes so much evil leaving me to believe he is more of a villain. At the start of the first season Walter is a Chemistry teacher who also works at a car wash. He has a fairly attractive wife who loves him, a nice house in a nice neighborhood, a son who looks up to him and a daughter on the way. His life isn’t perfect but it’s far from being terrible, of course that changes when Walter is diagnosed with Lung cancer. Walt began as a loving character, almost Mr. Rodgers like, mostly because of his clothing, a family man who busts his ass to provide for his family, but his personality quickly changes when he gets diagnosed with cancer. He turns evil and selfish and he finds his new high, that being cooking meth and building up an empire in the process. It first seemed like he started making meth too provide for his family for when he’s gone, so he says anyways, but you soon quickly realize he’s doing it for him self to leave behind some kind of legacy. Walt went into the drug trade knowing nothing about it with the help of an old student, Jesse Pinkman, to manufacture and, more importantly, sell his meth. Walt having knowledge from college and his teaching made him able produce the purest crystal meth on the streets. While making meth, Walt used a different chemical called methylamine, giving his product a distinctive blue color. It was much different and much higher quality than most meth, leading it to be the number one seller on the streets. During the time of his meth making days he ran into several problems. Walt has killed and has influenced many murders over the entire series. He first killed Emilo Koyama, a drug dealer who tried to rip off Walt and his partner Jesse by trapping him in an RV filled with deadly gas. Secondly, he killed another drug dealer who he had tied in the basement, realized the drug dealer had a knife ended up suffocating him to death. Next, he witnessed Jesse’s heroin addict girlfriend choke on her own vomit while overdosing, only because he thought Jane (Jesse’s Girlfriend) was a bad influence on Jesse and he wanted him to remain his partner. Walt then caused a spiraling effect of deaths because Jane’s father happened to be an air traffic controller who still went to work after being so wracked with grief, lost train of thought on his job and made a fatal error causing two airplanes to collide and kill 167...
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Koepsell, David R, and Robert Arp. Breaking Bad and Philosophy. Chicago: Open Court, 2012. Print.
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