‘Jesse’ | Analytical essay | 12 i karakter

The political matter of suppressed races and poor race relations is and probably always will be a heavily debated topic in the whole world, whereas some countries are more affected than others.

Especially the US has dealt with a painful long history of racism and a suppressed African American community.

Many important measures like the abolishment of the Jim Crow laws have been taken and it is undeniable that the situation has gradually changed for the better since the 19th and 20th century

however racism still seems to be present worldwide. The interplay between plot’s theme and message of the short story “Jesse” written by Joy Boothe, shows that friendship can be a solution to racism.

The protagonist of the story is also the narrator of the story and tells the story from her point of view as “I”- thus the story is told in first person.

This is applicable throughout the whole story and can first be seen in the first sentence of the short story “I am five years old….” (S1 L1)

The narrator is limited first person because she tells the reader about her memories and certain experiences throughout her childhood and young adulthood and thus the narrator is also unreliable because the reader only knows the story from the protagonist’s point of view.

The protagonist is a girl whose age changes throughout the text from an age of 5 to 27. She is a complex character and goes through a lot of changes that develops her into a mature woman with independent thoughts.

For example, she started off by hating the name Jesse since it reminded her of her grandpa who killed himself in a horrific manner. However, this changed throughout the years as she became more and more fund of her father’s colleague Jesse.

She liked Jesse very much and had no prejudices about him even though he was black and even though her grandma constantly warned her about him.

She is an openminded girl because she decided whether to like Jesse based on her own experiences with him, and not to let her grandma affect her view on him.

Jesse listens to her “Jesse asks me questions and listens to me” (S 3 L62-63), he makes her laugh “Mama laughs with us when Jesse makes sounds like toad frogs and crickets” (S3 L63-64) and so she decided to like him and disagree with her grandma.

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