Here I cite Rorschach's journal entry at V.11.3 with regard to his mask:
First, peeled off face, folded it, hid inside jacket. Without my face, nobody knows. Nobody knows who I am.
...the inference I read into that being, as far as Rorschach is concerned, who he is is Rorschach all the time, with or without the mask
Hmmm, yes. I see. So he has totally smothered Walter with Rorschach, until the point of death anyway. I get the whole "mask as face" thing but I also considered that, maybe, he could switch back and forth between the two persons.
The awkward mumbling of the sign bearing vagrant to which you refer is all part of the act, allowing him to wander the streets seeing and hearing all without attracting so much as a second glance.
That grates me a bit. Rorschach participating in deliberate and effective artifice? I don't know... Maybe, if he feels it's for the cause.
He takes of the mask (and his lifts) as a practicality and I wonder if his mannerism change in the same way a woman in a dress moves differently that a woman in jeans. Whether, perhaps, he acts different because he feels different? Not Walter, perhaps, but a different Rorschach and maybe it isn't all deliberate act? Maybe it's a sense memory. He knows what it's like to be an odd little vagrant. Surely it's not that hard for him to slip back into those mannerisms.
A throw back more than a wholly new creation.
Maybe it is deliberate but he seems more straight forward and less calculating than that to me.
well, in a way, Rorschach does live on (the journal).
but what i feel is that Rorschach finally compromised when he realized it was either life or death, having never really been in the situation himself before that. it was usually Rorschach in control. take the bar scenes for example. Rorschach questions, breaks fingers, gets answers. same with Gerald Grice. kills dogs, locks up the bastard, kills him. in the final moments, there was no controlling state for him, so he had no other choice but to compromise. in the end, he finally became what he had always said what he wouldn't be. the deconstruction of the superhero into just another human. just one more body amongst the foundation.
See, I felt he died because he wouldn't
compromise. But you are saying in those last moments, is the only time we see Walter and that is his compromise? That becoming just another human? So in refusing to compromise he compromises? Man, no wonder he was crying.