Sunday, October 26, 2008

Jimmy Corrigan

Throughout the comic Jimmy Corrigan, Jimmy is constantly belittled whether by images or by the people around him. Both his mother and Antonio talk down to him throughout the entire piece. While his mother does not necessarily talk down to him, she treats him as if he is still a ten year old who needs her approval for everything he does. I believe Ware uses images and supporting characters around Jimmy to show him as a small man maybe even to the extent of him being a child.

One of the main images that portray this is when Jimmy is being shown alone in his apartment. In one such image, the reader sees Jimmy sitting in a chair, much too big for him, with a pencil and paper twice the size of his body. The immense scale of this room makes Jimmy seem like an ant in comparison. Ware uses this same image many times throughout the book to show how little of a man Jimmy really is.

Another image Ware uses is of Jimmy standing in the streets of Chicago in an intersection surrounded by gigantic buildings. This paints the same picture as Jimmy in his house, but on an even bigger scale. One of the most notable times this is used is when Amy, one of the few people other than his mother and father who he has a real connection with, yells at him. Amy tells him to get away and he is seen fleeing back to his hometown where he is shown in this intersection. Ware also these characters to show us how little of a man Jimmy really is.

Of the few acquaintances Jimmy has in his life they all seem to treat him as if he is a little kid. The most evident example of this is with his mom. His mom calls him every second of every day to check up on him. His dad also treats him like a child. One good image of this is when Jimmy gets hit by a truck and is taken to the doctor’s office. During this scene, you see Jimmy in a doctor’s office sitting on a table while his dad talks to the doctor. When I was reading this part, I just kept thinking how it looks oddly similar to whenever I would go to the doctor’s office as a kid.

Chris Ware uses many different methods to show the childlike attributes of Jimmy Corrigan, whether it is his minuscule size in comparison to the objects around him, or his mentality when around other people. Jimmy never tries to take charge in any way or change how people see him. The people around him always hold him down and treat him as if he were not really a man. Jimmy, surrounded by all these people, does not start coming into his own until the very end of the book when the people around him start fading out of the picture.

1 comment:

Adam Johns said...

Good idea, but you rush through the execution of it, with some sloppy writing and mistakes along the way. The thing that I most wanted here, though, was some sort of response from you. What do you *do* with this sit of images, and with your idea that these particular images are central to the book in some way (at least I assume so, since you bothered to write about them...)