A series of frames depicted near the end of Jimmy Corrigan sum up a lot of reoccurring thems of the story. In this scene Jimmy and his sister are awaiting the doctors news about their father. Simultaneously Jimmy gets a “vision” of his mother in the waiting room, she starts talking about how disappointed she is and how she can’t believe Jimmy. This connects a theme throughout the story, Jimmy is an emotionally impaired human castaway envisioning a struggle between his mother and reconnecting with his father.
From the beginning of the book there is clues that give reason to why Jimmy has such a troubled life. His childhood and the childhood of his grandfather and great-grandfather become clear as flashbacks and huge portions of the story describe the troubled life. Also, Jimmy’s mother is a faceless and nameless character who constantly calls and nags Jimmy throughout the day. This sad and lonely depiction of Jimmy dealing with these things explains the significance of these series of frames.
When looking at the specific scene I chose this background information gives a clue to why Jimmy has this vision of his mother while in the waiting room. We abruptly see the faceless character of his mother scolding Jimmy and almost seemingly intimidating Jimmy. She clearly wants Jimmy to have nothing to do with his father or sister, demonstrating her control over her son. The symbolism here is obvious from the depiction of the mother without a face, simply a voice or a power figure. This is highlighted in a later frame where we see Jimmy on the phone with his mother and the cord essentially attached to his mother’s body. We see the facial expression and cowardly position that Jimmy takes while speaking with his mother in his fantasy. Many strange occurrences happen as the frames continue, Jimmy is no longer in the waiting room but sitting at a train station. This whole page takes place at the train station except for one frame, which is a tiny picture of the waiting room with the doctor and his sister. I understand this to be Jimmy’s small attempt to escape his mother’s “grip” to try and focus back into the reality. However, the next frames focus back on his mother, proving his inability to escape.
Showing the attachment of Jimmy and his mother using the phone cord symbolizes how they will always be connected despite the events that happen. That is how flawed and lonely Jimmy is from his own reality. The fact that Jimmy’s mother appears to him in the first place means that she has such a bearing on his life and despite Jimmy always trying to distance himself from her phone calls he cannot actually escape her. Pathetically the “vision” ends with her leaving Jimmy and him reaching out to try and bring her back, this is such a sad and depressing moment because not only does Jimmy feel blame for something that is not his fault but he actually has visions that are of abandonment. His dreams cannot even be positive.
Another thing that I noticed was one specific frame of what appears to be Jimmy’s father on a stretcher or bed. It appears his father is dying or already dead and then immediately the next frame is a just Jimmy’s eye looking back. Each frame is very important and I feel every detail is important and symbolic for something. The fact Jimmy sees his father rolling by is another depressing and sad vision followed by his mother’s criticism. Jimmy seems so worried and scared in these frames because he cannot help but always think the worst. These stems from his brutal childhood and neglect from his father, hence the one frame of his fathers lifeless body being shown and immediately being distracted by his mother, the other parental figure. It is clear that Jimmy’s mother wants Jimmy to have nothing to do with his father or sister from her dialogue. The control she displays is frightening and it is hard not to sympathize with Jimmy in his situation.