Jesus' Son

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Alfred Thomas
Donovan Hufnagle
English Composition II
April 21, 2012
Jesus Son
Denis Johnson applies drugs and alcohol in this series of short stories to encounter a sense of a “profound experience.” The narrator’s involvement with drugs and alcohol presents a revelation to many unusual occurrences throughout the stories. Although “Beverly Home” represents a sense of recovery as Denis Johnsons hints, but Parrish implies “he associates himself with Jesus to evoke…that his addiction to drugs will kill him young…he transcended this fate” to argue his addiction remains unresolved (Parrish, 2001). It’s as though the narrator addiction to drugs will always be apart of him, unable to avoid that fate, which in turns make recovery impossible.

The thought of drugs and alcohol with Jesus signifies a feeling of salvation as “all lost souls, waiting eagerly or despondently for salvation” (Kakutani, C31). Various addicts use salvation, as a bridge to get closer to a relationship with Jesus, but with Johnson and the narrator an ending to his salvation is recovery. Now, in the case of the narrator still not recovered from addiction, he’s not eagerly waiting for it. Recovery from drug addiction revolves around help “it’s always been my tendency to lie to doctors” (11), and it’s as though recovery from his state of mind is not welcomed. The fact he’s not looking for help and he was involved in a car crash goes to show he’s not eagerly waiting for salvation nor recover in the matter.

Grimson portrayal of Jesus’ Son shows that the narrator “inhabits a walking dream…that wonderful sense of someone walking around in his own unconscious—you don’t want to wake him up.” The narrator he associates himself with drug addiction by means of staying in his dream world. In the argument of the narrator not recovered from drug addiction, he ruins he’s ability to stay in his dream world. As the narrator goes into this dream state of mind “it was turning out to be one of the best days of...
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