Carnal Knowledge

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In the story "Carnal Knowledge", by T. Coraghessan Boyle, Jim is the main character who loves to eat meat. He would love nothing more than to enjoy a dinner of "Beef, mutton, pork, venison, dripping burgers, and greasy ribs". (1107) However, Jim's cravings for "Kentucky Fried or Chicken McNuggets" were no match for Alena Jorgensen. (1108) Alena is an obsessive animal rights activist whom Jim met while laying on the beach feeling sorry for himself. When a person has feelings of depression and loneliness it can be very easy for another person to come into their life and change their whole persona. Jim had just turned 30 and was feeling depressed for not having anyone in his life. After dozing on the beach awhile Jim awoke to an "unmistakable odor", he'd been pissed on.(1108) He first heard Alena's voice after cursing the dog. Alena is a very attractive girl and Jim fell for her immediately. Alena and Jim left the beach to go clean the piss off his clothes at Alena's house. While waiting for the clothes to dry, they began a conversation about animal rights. Animal rights are a huge issue in Alena's life. Jim never paid much attention to the issue but because of Alena's beauty and kindness he was willing to listen. Jim's feeling of loneliness has a big impact on his view of Alena. If Jim met another girl that day on the beach, and who was not as attractive he would have acted very different. Jim was very vulnerable at that moment and needed something crazy and exciting in his life. Jim was never a very motivated person, and now that Alena was in his life he has the excitement he'd been wanting. Alena was a vegan, the very opposite of himself so he told her he also was a vegan. He lied to impress her and started to get involved in all of Alena's animal rights protests. These changes in Jim after meeting Alena are something that he would never have done in his past. Jim's first animal rights demonstration in front of a fur emporium made him feel far from depressed and...
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