Sunday, October 16, 2011

The End of the Road - John Barth

"In a sense I am Jacob Horner..."
Jacob Horner, a shadow of a person moves to a new place to begin a new life at the behest of his shrink. He is vapid, directionless and empty. He follows orders rather well though and after the success of the experiment of a new place and slowly falling into the pattern of a routine, his shrink tells him to practice mythotherepy and assume a new role for himself.
He chooses the role of Mr. Morgan, inquisitor, ontological biologist and husband extraordinaire. After finding himself in an affair with Mrs. Morgan and demanded to continue unless he can theoretically support his reasons and intentions. Mrs. Morgan becomes pregnant and says she will kill herself rather than have the child, so Jacob frantically searches for a doctor that will perform an abortion.
For being unable to function or cope with the emptiness of his life, he now has a purpose and for a brief moment becomes alive with the prospect of a life in his hands other than his own. After convincing his shrink to perform the abortion, Mrs. Morgan dies while aspirating on her vomit. Jacob is once again an empty shell, ready to move on the next place manipulated by either the puppet master or fate.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Henry V - William Shakespeare

In this essay, I will examine the rhetorical and dramatic effectiveness of King Henry’s speech to the Governor of Harfluer in Act 3 Scene 4 ...