In Ward’s Jimmy Corrigan, he chooses to emphasize two different centuries, one of current time and the other of Jimmy’s grandfather and great grandfather. Ward emphasizes these two time periods to emphasize the stagnation of the developing United States. In the more recent century, Jimmy faces consequences that revolve around his family, mostly his father. One century prior, Jimmy’s grandfather faces similar problems with his own father. The reoccurring paternal complications in the Corrigan family shows Ward’s belief that even though time and events are constantly changing, the underlying dilemma of the United States stays the same.
The prime example of Ward’s belief about the history of the United States is through the male gender in general. Ward chooses to display Jimmy’s family consequences through male relationships because it is the men of the United States who ultimately started the country. The fact that the males in the Corrigan family all share the same name shows how men of the later generation are no different than the men of the earlier generation. Jimmy’s great grandfather leaves his female companion just as Jimmy’s father leaves Jimmy’s mother. These reoccurring actions a century apart show the country’s inability to change despite the technological progresses. This further shows the greed of mankind because the men would rather please themselves than learn from their mistakes to benefit their family.
Ward also argues about the greed permanently displayed by the country through the relationship between man and woman. In a flashback section, the hand of a female statue falls off within the process of developing a new city. The rough handling of this statue shows the materialistic property that men attribute to women. The fact that Jimmy’s great grandfather gives the broken off hand to Jimmy’s grandfather shows a quite literal passing down of these damaged opinions. In another flashback, Jimmy’s great grandfather leaves money for his ex partner before moving to a completely different state while she remains asleep, without a warning. The lack of opinion that members of the Corrigan family give to the females in their lives show’s Ward’s emphasis on masculine identity and therefore the greed displayed by men alone. The females that are taken advantage of in this comic are all victims of greed.
The final argument that Ward makes is through Jimmy himself. Ward depicts Jimmy to be the first male who is different than his precedents. He lacks skills with communication that the other members of his family seem to possess and simply cannot communicate with girls. He even struggles to communicate with his mother, who shoves communication down his throat. Jimmy is the first male in his family to be raised by his mother, and not his father, unlike his ancestors. The fact that Jimmy appears slow and is raised by a female character rather than a male shows Ward’s opinion that the country needs to be ruled by men. In the introduction in the very beginning of the comic, there is an exam section with the first question asking about the gender of the person taking the exam. If the person chooses, female, they are instructed to stop. Although this quiz is rather humorous, it still hints at the fact that the comic is not meant for female readers due to the complex content and certain offensive sections. Ward believes men are better suited to understand the content and therefore a better candidate to control the country.
Overall, Ward is arguing that men and greed have run the history of the United States and men need to continue to run the country. While I do agree with Ward’s argument that mankind tends to run off of greed, I oppose his argument when it comes to the need for men to run the country. Greed has been impacting the history of places all over the world as soon as a place develops a sense of currency. The desire to obtain countless luxuries and be wealthy is a dream that many Americans possess and that desire will never fade away until a person develops a good sense of morals. Many people do not even reach that point in their life because they think that money will make them happy.
To this day, men and women still are not seen as equals. Differences in pay still exist and when it comes to sexual assault, women are taught to dress appropriately so they will not get raped rather than men being instructed not to rape. There are plenty of women in the United States who possess the ability to run a household and a country because they have the necessary social skills and intelligence that men possess. The main problem with the United States throughout its history is the people who refuse to change. When Barack Obama was elected president in the most recent election, many people became upset just because a white male was no longer president. Some people are still trying to prove that he does not meet the qualifications to be president. All the difficulties that the country encounters are immediately blamed on him even though he is making decisions to the best of his ability, not to mention that others would probably react similarly. The bigoted nature of the inhabitants of this country is the reason why it is not changing. Ward emphasizes this through the similarity between the two different time periods occurring throughout the comic.