Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Parallels and Contrasts It's a Bird

Part I:
That Big Red S

On page 2, we first see the that red S on the end of the word Huntington, the disease which took his grandmother away from him. This Disease is what has haunted and constrained Steven's life so far, he has always lived in fear of this because he does not want anyone to feel like they lost something if he dies of the disease. Which is why he has such strained and loose relationships with his mother and father. The Big Red S is, of course, most symbolic on the chest of Superman, a man who has saved so many lives and brought happiness to many in dispair. Something that should symbolize life, now symbolizes death for Steven, which is why when he gets the Superman comic from his Dad that he and his brother do not read it. In addition to their hatred of conforming to society, that Big S reminds him on that disease so much that he cannot bear to look at it.  

Part 2:
The Outsider

On page 21 Steven seems to be comparing his life to Clark Kent's because he notes how much Clark fits in to everything he does not stick out like a thorn, he is the face in the crowd which is why his Superhero Identity fits him so well, because he can change back into Clark Kent and fit right back into society without notice. Yet we as a society still thrust people out of the norm, like as Seagle states, the Jews who we mock for their money handling, janitors whos jobs we need yet no one gives a rat's ass about them and no one would notice their disappearance, or how we blame people for stealing something that they didn't and the janitor now who was unnoticeable before, is being pushed out because the workers accused him because he's black of stealing something. Seagle's life is these people, he wishes he was Clark Kent, but he is more like the outsiders.

Part 3:

Achilles' story is one of the most well known and studied, it is as popular as Superman...We even named a body part after Achilles. He was dipped into the River Styx making him immortal, but his mother could not touch the water so his "Achilles Heel" did not make it into the river, making that his weak spot and the spot of his eventual death, much like Kryptonite is to Superman. The one place or thing that can bring down even the most powerful and strong people. We all have Achilles Heel's, and as much as Seagle tries it seems he wants to make his life and unimportant and bland as possible, so that he has nothing to fame and nothing that he can make himself. Yet, just like Superman's Kryptonite and Achilles' Achilles Heel, we all have something that is our own, even if its not good. Seagle has his own personal Achilles Heel which is special to him and him only, and as much as he hates conformity it is something that everyone has, even the mightiest, like Superman...

Part 4:
Colors colors colors

Maybe this could be a stretch and me reading too much into the book, but it seemed odd to be that on 80-81 where Steven has dinner with his girlfriend that she and everything around him is so colorful and vibrant compared to his blandness. When you date someone the goal is to be similar and have similar likes/dislikes, and to no be polar opposites. And we see his girlfriend and her house in complete color, which to me emanates some sort of vibrance and excitement, yet Seagle is in his usual black shirt and is a black hole for emotions. Maybe she is what Seagle needs to become more exciting and vibrant in his life, because certainly he does not have any of that in his life now. Or is it the vibrance actually starting to enter Seagle's life?

Part 5:
Kryptonite no More

We see Seagle at the end of the book showing those two random kids Superman up in the sky, actually pointing out Superman to them, while finishing the famous "It's Bird...It's a Plane...No! It's Superman!" The figure that Seagle detested through out his life, has now become something of a model for him. Those kids have to represent Seagle and his brother as children, because to me it is him telling his younger self to embrace Superman, embrace who you are, no matter if you think you are not special and blend in, you are special because their is only one you.

1 comment:

  1. Brian, These journal entries are thoughtful and specific. I don't think your clothing point is a stretch at all. His black clothes -- artist's clothes -- underscore his depression, the vacuum of emotions in his life at that moment. I also think you can relate the final shot with the kids on the street to young Stephen even more explicitly. Good work here!