The Dark Knight Taught Me One Thing: People Will Scream My Name at Me
Luckily, Rachel Dawes also spells her name the right way.
As a longtime fan of Bruce Wayne, never did I think that my life would go from being a casual fan of the caped crusader to having people yell my name at me with a very low and gravely voice. But when The Dark Knight came out, I had to get somewhat used to people saying “Rachel” like Batman. All because of the ever lovely Rachel Dawes.
A character born of the Nolanverse (the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy that has come comic background but also includes original characters like Rachel Dawes), Dawes was portrayed by three different actresses in the span of two movies and was given to us as a love interest for Bruce Wayne that he never really follows through with.
The impact of Rachel’s death fades somewhat for Bruce when he meets Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises, but she was still an important character for the Nolanverse Batman’s development. Bruce Wayne had been in love with Rachel Dawes since they were children and then, when he’s finally ready to do something about it, Rachel is in love with Harvey Dent and then ends up dead—but not before writing Bruce a letter telling him that she’s going to marry Harvey and not him. Ouch.
The unanticipated problem for me personally with Rachel Dawes is that Bruce loves to yell her name throughout both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Whether yelling for Katie Holmes or yelling for Maggie Gyllenhaal, Bruce sure does love to yell “Rachel” when he either needs her to wake up in Batman Begins or wants the Joker to tell him where she is in The Dark Knight. There is a very specific way that Batman likes to yell for her.
I wish there was a way to describe what it’s like when I hear someone say my name like Bruce Wayne. It’s not that I hate it, it’s just that I’ve been listening to this since 2005. I was a mere thirteen years old, waiting to turn fourteen, when I went into the theatre. Excited to see a new movie about a hero I loved. And then I came out with my brother yelling my name like Batman and thus the torture of being named “Rachel” while being a fan of Batman was confirmed.
I’m just happy that, at least, Rachel Dawes spells her name correctly because if her name was “Rachael” and people kept yelling “my” name at me, I’d have gone through some fights throughout my life. But alas, Rachel Dawes and I both know what it feels like to have people make their voices as low as possible while screaming in our faces.
So please, I beg of everyone, please find some other way of saying my name. I beg you.
I know I’m not the only one who’s had the experience of having my name conflated with a pop culture character or creator to the point of total exhaustion. I’ve never known an “Ariel” or “Arielle” who wasn’t tormented by mention of The Little Mermaid their whole life. And before my name was growled by Batman, it was made into the haircut of the ’90s on Friends. Did you have your name co-opted by a public mention, or do you have a friend who’s tortured by an association with their name they can’t control? Let’s talk in the comments.
(image: Warner Bros.)
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