Symbolism In Cartoon Physics

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In the presence of innocence, must one be exposed to the truth of reality? Nick Flynn seeks to answer this question in "Cartoon Physics", and in doing so reveals that children must not be tainted with the vastness of reality. Through an account of the universe 's power and the world of cartoons, Flynn utilizes symbolism to explore human reality. Flynn reveals that in cartoons, characters are in control of their environment. Additionally, children who play in sandboxes produce an alternate universe. These examples reveal how people consciously seek to ignore the truths of reality. Through an analysis of the universe 's power and cartoon physics, Flynn exposes how innocence functions as a source of protection in human reality. Ultimately, …show more content…
Nonetheless, Flynn extends his use of imagery to tangible items. He compares disasters to "burning houses" (12) and "sinking ships" (16), which reveals that ignorance can still prevail when individuals are aware of routine events. These two passages also serve to construct Flynn 's claim that in the world of innocence, one will always be rescued from their maladies, as "the trucks will always come with their ladders" (17). Consequently, this serves as a reminder to readers that one must not ignore the larger world. Rather, they should focus on the bigger picture surrounding all events. Through a literal depiction of the events on Earth, Flynn shows how ignorant humans are regarding the circumstances of life. When he states that "ten year olds should stick with burning houses", he is ironically indicating that innocence should be preserved, as burning houses are not something that children can fix. Small children should not be tainted with the truths of the universe, and thereby reality. Ultimately, Flynn implicitly asserts that the truths of the universe lead to …show more content…
When he describes the circumstances that children should focus on, such as "burning houses" (12) and "sinking ships" (16), he paints a hopeful picture. According to Flynn, by completely disregarding the realities of space, and thus of adulthood, children are able to experience positive emotions. "Cartoon Physics" also explores the theme of children 's control over their fictitious worlds. For example, in line twenty-one, Flynn employs a metaphor of a young girl driving a school bus across a city of sand. Since she is not literally driving a school bus over a city of sand, this illustrates how much authority she has over what happens to her and also how palpable her imagination is. This doubly reveals that adults do not have as much control over their circumstances as children do, as they have been exposed to the harsh demands of reality. Through this exposure, adults shed the ability to conceive alternate realities, and thus relinquish control over their awareness of the world. Ultimately, Flynn parallels the account of childhood innocence to the cruel world of

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