Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Just a start, but... Final Paper Proposal

For my final project I would like to explore Jimmy Corrigan more closely. I was interested to note in my second revision that throughout Jimmy’s story I found myself rooting for him to have a successful interaction with people even though he never does. Normally when people fail at something it is to learn something and to do better the next time, however in Jimmy’s case this does not seem to be true. Each subsequent interaction he has fails, but it seems that he is always willing to try again to interact with someone in the hopes that he can have a successful relationship. He desperately seeks emotional connection with people even if something is holding him back.
            An interesting parallel appears between Jimmy and Charlie Brown, which is something I would be interested in exploring. Both are constantly failing at what they do, and yet we still find ourselves rooting for them to succeed. It is interesting to note that in Charlie Brown, there are many characters around him that juxtapose him, for they have successes that seem to avoid Charlie. What effect do these characters have on the way we view Charlie? And another parallel arises between the characters in Jimmy’s life that are able to have successful interactions and lead normal lives. However, it is interesting to note that all the people around Jimmy (his parents and Amy) are alone too. None of them are in a relationship with someone else. Another aspect that is peculiar is that the one character that has been around Jimmy his whole life and constantly seeks his company is his mother, the one person he avoids. She also is the only one who appears to enter into a relationship at the end of the book.
            Comparing Jimmy at the beginning of the novel and at the end will provide a way to sort of measure how much progress he has actually made in his endeavor to have a successful relationship with people. This means I must also look at the epilogue that was added and through a close reading analyze the different ways it can be read. On the surface there are the two different ways: taken at face value as a hopeful future for Jimmy, or the sarcastic reading that ends with Jimmy failing again to establish an emotional connection.
            One final aspect that I might explore is the appearance of superman in the story, and what he means and represents as a role model. There are many aspects of Superman as a superhero and I would need to do more research to refresh my memory about him, but looking into Superman might draw parallels to Jimmy’s life. It would be helpful too to note what parts of superman Jimmy would relate to, and why. Connecting this back to how Jimmy is a character that Chris Ware relates too is another aspect I might explore, but as this is only a 10 page (or so) essay, I might not have time to fully explore that idea.
Arnold, Andrew and Poniewozik, James. "Right Way, Corrigan." Time 156.11 (2000): 116. Military & Government Collection. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.
            This source directly relates Superman to God in Jimmy Corrigan, offering up some useful insights into why Jimmy idolizes Superman and what that represents. If I choose to include the Superman in my essay, which after finding this source I just might, this will help clearly articulate the aspects of Superman that appeal to Jimmy.
O'Connell, John. "Comic books that geeky teenagers won't read." Times, The (United Kingdom) n.d.: Newspaper Source. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.
            O’Connell talks about Jimmy Corrigan’s appeal to people in this source. The idea that he is a protagonist but not a hero in the traditional sense is something that O’Connell discusses, and how this appeals to people, especially gawky teenagers. Though this source isn’t very long, I think it has soon good points on the appeal of Jimmy as a character and why he is so relatable.


1 comment:

Adam said...

This is a good proposal, and since we've already discussed it I don't have anything of substance to add. If superman is important, be clear to explain how superman fits in with your interest in failure and the attractiveness of Jimmy's character.