The Joker

The significance of Arthur Fleck’s character in the new Joker movie.

Bold Brunette
3 min readJan 28, 2020

The Joker movie that was released in 2019 was an incredible movie, I thought. The significance of Arthur Fleck (better known as the Joker amongst the DC comics characters) and his life was a moving story about his upbringing and the many challenges he faced with his mental health.

Arthur Fleck struggles with Pseudobulbar affect (PBA). It is a type of emotional disturbance characterized by uncontrollable episodes of laughter and/or crying. It is the result of a neurological disorder or a brain injury. In The Joker, Arthur Fleck bursts into moments of laughter in the most unexpected situations. Due to his behavior, he is ridiculed and bullied by various people throughout the movie.

I was having a discussion with a friend about the movie and how real his character was portrayed in the movie. It gave the audience an opportunity to see things from the perspective of someone who is struggling financially, trying to support his mother and who battles with his own mental health on a daily basis.

At several points the movie was tough to watch. There were some brutal scenes of violence that I found really hard not to turn away from the screen. The Joker commits hateful crimes, but taking a step back and being able to have an insight into what he’s had to put up with… it makes it a bit easier to see why he does these various things.

The movie was also an opportune opening for the world to discuss mental health and the challenges many people face on a day-to-day basis.

There are so many people that struggle with their mental health. It’s not something we should shy away from or brush to the side. We need to be more inclusive, accepting and empathetic towards others and what they’re dealing with. We so often turn a blind eye to one’s mental health because society has not yet embraced it.

Suicide statistics are on the rise. Suicide alone is an incredibly tough situation to wrap one’s head around. The family and friends of the person have so many unanswered questions. Many various groups talk about suicide being a selfish act, but how can we call it such when we’re not giving someone the opportunity to open up about their true feelings and struggles. The Joker doesn’t commit suicide, but it highlights why people turn their back on society and treat those around them so poorly — simply because of what they’ve had to endure and the way some people are treated.

We sometimes make assumptions about people with mental health struggles. It’s something we should be talking about, and encouraging one another to be more empathetic. We should assist those around us in helping them cope better in society and be treated with more kindness and respect.



Bold Brunette

Almost everything can be an adventure • Liver transplant recipient• Learning & growing every day.