Saturday, December 3, 2011


Jimmy Corrigan is meeting his father for the first time and his dreams are depictions of his anxieties about this meeting. Dreams are our way of subconsciously dealing with whatever is bothering us especially when we don’t want to or know how to deal with it consciously.

While jimmy is on a plane to meet his father he falls asleep and has a dream about his father being a farmer. In this dream his dad, who Jimmy affectionately calls Paw, is an impolite, unsympathetic, violent old man. This is a nightmare for Jimmy. He has no idea what to expect of his father. Maybe his dad is a mean old man that won’t like him. In his dream Jimmy says “why is it that our Paw is always so sore on us and his friends? Is it that he don’t like us? Hast we done him wrong?” He clearly hasn’t done anything to make his dad dislike him, because he has yet to meet him, but it is still something he fears. He has no idea what to expect, so he starts to prepare himself for the worst. Right after this nightmare, Jimmy has a daydream where he pictures possibilities of what his father will look like. Jimmy’s feeling are a combination of just wanting to meet his father already and being terrified that his dad won’t like him.

Later Jimmy has another dream about his dad, but this time after he meets his father. Their first conversation consists of his dad first asking what happened to his foot and before jimmy could answer his dad tells him he’s not holding the crutch right. That was their first conversation. Not even a “Hello Jimmy” or any of the other various greetings that Jimmy planned for. He was not really what Jimmy was expecting. Then they go out to eat at the local fast food place where his father dominates the conversation, with Jimmy only contributing the occasional uh, oh, and ha-ha. Later that night Jimmy has another dream involving his new dad. In this dream his dad gets angry at his pet horse because the horse was trying his pants on again. Jimmy’s response in defense of Amos the horse was that he just likes to look fancy every now and then to which his dad just waves a gun him. Basically Jimmy’s dad wants him to kill his tiny horse because he caught the horse trying on his pants again because the horse likes to look fancy. While this may make since in the dream, it is completely irrational. Jimmy is still afraid that his dad will irrationally reject him. He is afraid that his dad won’t appreciate the things he likes. The dream also reflects the little bit of real life relationship that had started where Jimmy just goes along with whatever his dad wishes. Jimmy perhaps fear that in doing this his dad will make him lose something he loves. What it is that he loves is unclear seeing that his life in general is quite boring, but whatever it is he may fear that his dad will disapprove and want to take it away from him.

These two dreams are wild fantasies where Jimmy attempts so solve his fears of his first encounters with his dad. Before he is unsure of what to expects and considers the worst. After their first meeting, jimmy’s anxieties still linger. He is worried about his dad intentions and what their future relationship will play out like. Though his dreams jimmy contemplates and agonizes about how meeting his father will change his life.

1 comment:

  1. I don't disagree with any part of this as far as it goes. It's hard to disagree with the idea that dreams are based on our subconscious minds. But your actual reading doesn't delve very deep into Jimmy's unconscious. Your analysis of both dreams, to pick one line from the next to last paragraph, is "Jimmy is still afraid that his dad will irrationally reject him."

    I agree, incidentally, that this is a fine, overall response to the dreams: he clearly dreads meeting his father, and that dread comes out in all kinds of odd ways.

    Yet, the dreams are so very peculiar. Anyone would feel some anxiety meeting his/her father in such a way. But not everyone would have a dream-response involving a horse who longs to try on the father's pants because he wants to be "fancy." Nor does everyone have fantasies about their father that cast the old man as an explicitly rural, old-fashioned, brutal and patriarchal tyrant.

    What I'm getting at is this: why all the particulars of these dreams? It's obvious that Jimmy is anxious. Why that anxiety comes out in such odd ways seems much more interesting.