Thursday, April 3, 2014

Project Proposal

When thinking about the upcoming final project, I plan on elaborating more on the whole concept of Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth as a whole.  Throughout this novel that refers to this middle aged lonesome man, he goes through a lot of difficulty that a lot of people usually don’t go through.  He lives a life while rarely knowing his father, having an imperious mother, and a very limited social life by not having and friends.  In order for him to succeed with happiness he turns toward his imaginations which set him free with conquering everything he really wanted.

            The main focus I plan on talking about is his father compared to Superman, which I already talked about in my previous essay but plan on elaborating more on.  Throughout this whole comic novel, a description of something superman-like is brought up.  Rather it’s him meeting the fake superman in the beginning, wearing the superman mask that he gave him, or always wearing the blue superman sweater when he was much older.  The reason I believe these ideas are being brought up is because Jimmy doesn’t have that superman figure in his life, which should’ve been his dad, so he finds ways through his imaginations to wonder what it would be like to have one.

What kind of man walks out on his own child? Weak? Unhappy? Heartless? It's a question that nags away at the deserted kid. Was Dad really an out-and-out shit? Perhaps he just wasn't ready for responsibility. Perhaps Mum drove him away. Perhaps he thought everyone would be better off without him. Perhaps...”

            The other focus I plan on elaborating more on is his social life with Superman.  Obviously, Jimmy doesn’t have any friends, interests, or even a girlfriend which is part of the reason why he feels the way he does in being lonely.  Many normal people that have these qualities are usually happy and sustainable at times.  That is why I believe he imagines himself as being superman because a hero like him wouldn’t have to worry about not having any of these qualities.  He would be the hero of the town which means everybody would surround and praise him.  Having a feeling like that would be astonishing to Jimmy compared to the way he feels now.

Jimmy Corrigan is not the smartest kid on earth. He is a thirty six year old man who has no friends, no hobbies, no love life, and one extremely clingy mother. He looks like he is about sixty, walks with a stoop, and everybody boops him off. And his father abandoned him when he was a baby. The only escape Jimmy Corrigan has from this bleak life is his imagination. In his mind, Jimmy is superman, he has robot friends, he has a hot girlfriend, he has a tiny horse, drama chases him around like a vicious dog. In his imagination, Jimmy is in control of his fascinating life. He is the smartest kid on earth.”

I used two resources like the most essays that we have been doing but I know I’ll certainly be using a couple more.  These articles explain the importance on how Jimmy’s life is affected by his father not being around and also how he imagines a much better life than the one he’s going through.  I preferably want to use One-Dimensional Man as my other novel to compare to but I might use another novel just in case.

My main reason overall is that some people may wonder why Jimmy Corrigan is considered to be the smartest kid on earth.  Why wouldn’t they, when he has no type of life and the world he lives in is just flat out dull.  I’m here to let you know that even though he might not seem as smart, I believe he actually is the smartest kid on earth.  Simply because he has an imagination that is greater than the life he lives, which gives him a chance to be positive and think as though he’s the awesome guy he would love to be in real life.


Becca Garges said...


I think this is an interesting idea for your Final Project. Your idea about Jimmy's imagination seems like a great place to start uncovering why Jimmy is the way he is, and his father and Superman are definitely important pieces. Perhaps, you could pick specific scenes where Jimmy lacks a role model and where he uses Superman to make up for what's missing in his life. I'm curious about how you will connect One-Dimensional Man to Jimmy Corrigan. Maybe you could use Marcuse's ideas about art and the need for multi-dimensional thinking and compare these ideas to Jimmy's vivid imagination. Good luck!


Adam said...

Some of this seems kind of unfocused - you want to write about Jimmy Corrigan and his relationship with superman, and his relationship with his imagination.

It's not a bad general topic - people have done variations on it with different degrees of success, but it certainly *can* work. What will make you succeed or fail is how specific you are both in your ultimate argument and in your attention to details of the text.

You don't really have a specific argument yet that I can see, so you might spend some time asking yourself the kinds of questions that could lead to an argument. Where do we see Jimmy using his imagination? What (if anything) does he think/believe about the imagination? What about other characters? Is his imagination (either in general or about superman in particular) good or bad for him?

I'm interested in seeing an essay about JC and his imagination, or his specific relationship with superman, as long as you really develop it. Don't just show us where he thinks about superman - show us what it means, or why it matters.