J. and John

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We've drawn connections between J. and John Henry before so I'd like to elaborate on J.'s mystery name. Whitehead probably doesn't come outright and say J.'s name as John (I am assuming it is John) because it would make the parallel between the two too obvious. At the same time, it may not be John or John Henry at all, but because Whitehead always works around giving out his name (like during introductions) then I feel it is signifigant somehow.

In the closing paragraph, Whitehead says this about J. (right after a chapter about John Henry), "When they came down the mountain she asked, what's the J. stand for? He told her." (But Whitehead never says it!) 

We talked about in class on Wednesday of another parallel between them. We were surprised that John Henry seemed so mean and not like a hero at all (though Jessie contradicts this in her blog for that day), but J. is not much of a hero figure either.

Also, his name isn't just J. It's J., which means there must be more.

Students' Opinions


Josie Rush said:

I dunno, I sort of like my heroes with a couple flaws. It makes them easier to relate to, and humanizes them. Even though John Henry didn't seem overly concerned about the boy, I still liked him. I mean, as Dr. Jerz said, John Henry's circumstances may have molded him into that type of person, and if that's the case, we have the choice to either admire him for having other heroic qualities or despise him for his disregard for life.

Kayla Lesko said:

I didn't really see either of them as heroes, just people that have a lot to deal with.

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Kayla Lesko on J. and John: I didn't really see either of
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