Deconstruction: “Catch Me if You Can”

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Frank Abagnale’s representation of life in the autobiography “Catch Me If You Can,” is extremely materialistic. Next to family, fine luxuries such as expensive clothes, money and “lady company” appear to be tremendously important to Abagnale throughout the autobiography and this is very apparent throughout the text. These obvious socio cultural beliefs appear to have initially derived from his father but as, Abagnale becomes older his needs for materialistic items increase, stimulating the need to start his criminal career.

The text draws attention to the way in which class and status appeared to be extremely important in the United States during the 1960’s. Abagnale has an extremely strong opinion of himself and his appearance and image appear to be very significant throughout the text. Abagnale maintains his representation by pampering himself with items such as tailor made suits and Rolls-Royces. “A mans alter ego is nothing more than his favorite image of himself. ” Abagnale’s next leisure pursuit after maintaining his self image is women, and many stereotypes are prominent through out the text.

Abagnale exploits women in the text as entertainment. He compliments his female friends, and portrays women as commodities. “She was all silk, softness; nuzzly, warm, sweet smelling and absolutely delightful, and I knew I had found a contact sport that I really could enjoy. ” The text has been constructed so that Abagnale’s stereotypical opinion of women is expressed to the reader. According to Frank Abagnale women are basically just trying games, in which he tests his own stamina and charisma to win them over, purely for his own self indulgence and boost his self esteem.

By deconstructing the text through discourse it is easy to see that those of authority are meaningless, and manipulating them is nothing but a pastime for Frank Abagnale. It can be seen that Abagnale’s criminal career, having initially started as a way of self preservation, turns into a competition and as he overcomes each hurdle that the law authorities hurl at him he becomes more conniving and conceited. Although Abagnale throughout the text is exceptionally devious and fraudulent, he always seems to put a wholesome image of himself across to the reader.

One of the biggest reasons for this is that family is the most important things to him, and this ideology of family being first priority is universal across the western culture. It is apparent that throughout the text, family is an important factor in Abagnale’s life. Although he leaves his family on a quest of self identity, “I left home at sixteen, looking for me,” he often refers to his family as being one of the most important things to him. “Every child needs there mother, their father, and their family. Abagnale refers to his family constantly throughout the text and it becomes quite apparent towards the end of the autobiography, that it saddens him to consider what his parents think of their fraudulent son. The fact that a criminal has a fondness for his family is surprising to the reader, but this is what helps the reader relate to Frank Abagnale. Throughout the text Frank Abagnale becomes one of the most daring con men, forgers, imposters and escape artists in history. Although through and rise and ruin Frank Abagnale proves that family overcomes all.

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