Possible counterarguments include the idea that Jimmy did not in fact have a life-changing experience throughout the events of the comic, and remains unchanged from the Jimmy seen in the first pages. Another possible counterargument is that the emotional catharsis that sparked Jimmy’s change was less driven by the events concerning his father, and more by the rejection he faced by everyone in his life, including his mother, his dying father, and his half-sister Amy. Both of these statements are possible cases present in the text, but can be successfully defended against.
This analysis of Jimmy, concerning his change, and the causes of these changes, helps deepen the reader’s understanding of Jimmy as a character, and appreciate the depth of characterization Chris Ware is able to provide the characters in a visual medium, with limited amounts of text. At a surface level, the comic “Jimmy Corrigan” seems very plain and dull, but sustained analysis of the text provides the reader with a greater appreciation for the nuances of the text not visible immediately. This argument makes the reader re-examine all of Jimmy and his father’s actions in a context of a failed father-son relationship, and see the visible effects upon Jimmy.
The final project will make use of Marcuse’s “One Dimensional Man”, specifically Marcuse’s arguments about the role of art. Marcuse used art as a method of representing hidden truths to the world, a concept that Jimmy Corrigan does well, in that it establishes the need for a stable home life in order to rear a well-adjusted child, a topic the comic covers, though never explicitly. However, I do not expect that Marcuse will play a large role in the main argument of the essay, as it has limited application. Instead, it will play more of a supporting piece of the argument. Not vitally important, but still useful.
As this is a revision of my previous revision, there are a number of changes to be made. First and foremost, the introduction and conclusion will need to be scrapped, and rewritten from scratch. Both of those paragraphs were extremely general, and contribute little to the essay outside of introducing the tile argument. Through rewriting, the introduction will be able to more clearly define the argument, as well as make a good case as to why the reader should continue reading past the first paragraph. In this save vein, the concluding paragraph should serve as a more solid wrap-up, leaving the reader thinking. It would also relocate the analysis of the “The End” scene to the body of the argument for more sustained analysis. Both paragraphs will concerning the psychoanalytic background necessary for the analysis of the book will remain mostly unchanged in content, but rewritten for clarity and applicability to Jimmy Corrigan. Possible additions to the psychoanalytic background include parental abandonment and the need for childhood individuation, as both of these concepts play a role in Jimmy’s emotional development. The analysis paragraphs will be broken down into more discrete elements, each dissecting a particular scene, instead of all bunched together as they are now. This provides for more targeted and specific analysis. In addition, more scenes will be analyzed. In the original revision, the scenes used for analysis were the most obvious, but there are more subtle scenes (such as the bacon plate, or the conversation Jimmy has with his grandfather) that can provide solid support to the thesis that were not discussed in the original piece. Finally, most, if not all, scenes discussed will have the accompanying frames from the comic for the reader to see, within the text of the document. This helps the reader make immediate connections with the text of the essay and the art of the comic, as well as reduce an ambiguity the page number citations would have (as “Jimmy Corrigan” has no page numbers, all marked citations are unofficial).
Sources to Use:
- Baker, Kaysee, and Arthur A. Raney. "Equally Super?: Gender-Role Stereotyping of Superheroes in Children's Animated Programs." Mass Communication and Society 10.1 (2007): 25-41. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.
- This source is important as it shows the relationship children take with superheroes as role models, applicable in how Jimmy often projects the image of Superman onto himself, his father, and people who save him.
- Bowlby, John. A Secure Base: Parent-Child Attachment and Healthy Human Development. New York: Basic, 1988. Print.
- This source details how abandonment can interfere with normal emotional development in children, and is useful in the analysis of Jimmy Corrigan as a character.
- Claiborn, Charles D. "Dynamic Psychotherapies." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.
- This source defines what true emotional catharsis is, and how it can change the views or actions of an individual.
- Mussen, Paul, and Luther Distler. "Masculinity, Identification, and the Father-Son Relationship." The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 59.3 (1959): 350-56. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.
- This source is vital in understanding the psychology behind the father-son relationship, which is the central theme of this revision. This source helps show how males tend to pattern themselves after role models.
- Nichols, Michael P., and Jay S. Efran. "Catharsis in Psychotherapy: A New Perspective." Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training 22.1 (1985): 46-58. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.
- This is another source about emotional catharsis, and shows exactly what steps one must take to reach a true catharsis, applicable in aligning Jimmy’s actions to emotional progress.
- Ware, Chris. Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth. New York: Pantheon, 2000. Print.
- This is the comic itself. Without it, the final project would not happen.