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Analysis of “pride and Joy”

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Analysis of “Pride and joy”

The main character in this story is Mrs. Jacks. She is not the youngest fruit on the tree anymore, as her son is very grown up. She is the lone mother of Billy. Mrs. Jacks is lone because of her late husband Jim, who is rumoured to be dead. She has a full-time job as a protector for her forty-eight-year-old son Billy, who has a severe disease, or mental disorder. Mrs. Jacks has a lot of problems herself. Because of Billy she is low on physical and on mental state. Mrs. Jack loves her son very much and shows it by taking him to his favourite restaurant on his birthday. She sees it as a break from the daily life, where she and Billy can have a good time, but she is not able to enjoy it fully, as she is always worried about Billy´s well-being. When Meg tells her, that she can go and discover the flower park, and that Meg will watch after Billy in the meantime, she takes the opportunity to do something on her own. Mrs. Jacks takes the chance and leaves the diner to go discovering this park. She feels a little freer, and for instance buys peace lilies. Mrs. Jacks faces a huge problem when she arrives back in the diner. Billy is acting hysterical and Meg is panicking. In the try of helping Billy, Mrs. Jacks feels a shame, which hits her hard.

The narrative point of view in this story is a third person and omniscient narrator. The narrator is mainly observant and is not using the all-knowing skill very much. One of the times the narrator uses the omniscient skill is when Mrs. Jacks feels a shame over her boy (P. 12, L. 134). As said before, the narrator mainly focusses on the observant skill and is also very detailed which makes the reader very aware of where and what happens in the text. The themes in this story is mainly things which are possessed by the normal human. Things as caring for each other and helping others for instance Meg who has been in almost the same situation as Mrs. Jacks. She offers her help to Mrs. Jacks by suggesting that she can look after Billy while Mrs. Jacks is gone. One of the themes are also the power of judging people before you even know their story. The couple who are at the diner looks very disgusted and judging at Mrs. Jacks and Billy when they leave for the bathroom (P. 11, L. 127). 

Symbols in this text is not the most common thing. One of the biggest symbols is the peace lilies (P. 11, L. 99). By the name it is clear that the lilies refer to peace and freedom, and in this text, it is a symbol the free time she uses away from Billy. Another symbol is the sparrow inside of her which is flurrying inside of her (P. 8, L. 12). This is a symbol of nervousness which emerges when she takes out Billy in the public. She is afraid, that he will create a scene which he does near the end of the story inside of the diner. The ending is a whole symbol itself. In the end when Mrs. Jack and Billy is about to take off from the Diner, Meg comes running with the peace lily in her hand. When she arrives by the car, she proposes to Mrs. Jacks, that she can help her in the future to cope with Billy. According to the text, this offer makes the bird in Mrs. Jacks chest fall (P. 12, L. 167). This means that the pressure of dealing with Billy alone is now less challenging when she can call someone for help which she needed after the dead of her late husband.

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