Turtles All the Way Down

by

John Green

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Iron Man Symbol Icon

Davis has had his Iron Man figure since he was a child, and he tells Aza that it's the only physical thing in the world that he truly loves. Iron Man represents how Davis sees himself in the world, particularly in relation to his father and money. Though Iron Man the superhero is powerful and strong, the action figure is only a representation in colored plastic of that strength. Davis feels the same way. Others see that he has access, power, and privilege because of his family's money: they see him as an actual Iron Man who can do and have whatever he wants. In reality, however, Davis feels as powerless as his Iron Man action figure to actually harness any of his material wealth or power, particularly since Mr. Pickett leaves Davis out of his will, denying him the power of the family money. Further, the Iron Man figure's decals and paint have worn off, making it so Iron Man is faceless and featureless. This symbolizes how others see Davis as not an individual person, but just in terms of his money.

Iron Man Quotes in Turtles All the Way Down

The Turtles All the Way Down quotes below all refer to the symbol of Iron Man. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dutton Books edition of Turtles All the Way Down published in 2017.
Chapter 12 Quotes

He's, just... I guess at some point, you realize that whoever takes care of you is just a person, and that they have no superpowers and can't actually protect you from getting hurt. Which is one thing. But Noah is starting to understand that maybe the person he thought was a superhero turns out sort of to be the villain.

Related Characters: Davis Pickett Jr. (speaker), Aza Holmes, Davis Pickett, Sr., Noah
Related Symbols: Iron Man
Page Number: 147
Explanation and Analysis:
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Iron Man Symbol Timeline in Turtles All the Way Down

The timeline below shows where the symbol Iron Man appears in Turtles All the Way Down. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
...asks Aza if she remembers the birthday party. Aza remembers that Davis lost his beloved Iron Man action figure, but Mom found it. Daisy asks Aza again if she's okay, and Aza... (full context)
Chapter 4
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
...room she believes is Davis'. There's a telescope pointing at the ceiling and his old Iron Man action figure is on his nightstand. (full context)
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
Aza picks up the Iron Man figure as Davis comes up behind her. Davis tells her to be careful with "the... (full context)
Chapter 17
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
...stop by the pool and sit on loungers. Davis worries about Noah and twirls his Iron Man . Aza tries to tell him that Iron Man isn't much of a superhero, but... (full context)