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Nathaniel is part of a new generation that faces a bright
future with endless possibilities but is simultaneously filled with
uncertainty. Although Nathaniel has yet to accomplish anything of
significance so far, his life is full of potential. He has come
to New York to access the cultured, artistic, and vibrant lifestyle
his Uncle Lucien and Aunt Charlie embodied when they visited him
as a child. However, his youth and inexperience coupled with the
traumatic world events he has witnessed have stunted his personal
growth and prevented him from maturing into full adulthood. After
witnessing the World Trade Center collapse, he has lost his innocence
without gaining an adult perspective on the world. He doesn’t idealize
the world but hopes to passively create an authentic space for himself
and his friends, as evidenced by the hero of his own comic strip,
“Passivityman.” Like Passivityman, Nathaniel is trapped by the paradox
of wanting to engage the world around him but also wanting to stay protected
from it. Unlike Passivityman, however, Nathaniel actually does attempt
to interact with others: he has a job, he has had a relationship
with Delphine, and now he may need to find a place to live on his
own. This final step will be an important test of Nathaniel’s promise
and will offer him the chance to become fully independent.