“No One's a Mystery”

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Jessica Ulrich
Essay 2
Intro to Literature

The story I am completing and analyzing is “No One's a Mystery" by Elizabeth Tallent. “No One's a Mystery” is a brief, sharply detailed distillation of a doomed relationship between two people of contrasting personalities. The question I ask is who the characters are, and what parts of the story lead me to deem and back up my feelings about that certain character. To start off I feel that Jack is a hard one to analyze while reading it in a critical way. This is what I picked up on him Jack being a very cynical man who drinks heavily, doesn't clean his truck, and has no obvious respect for women (Mexomorph). Jack and his young lover not only come to terms with their relationship but also illuminate aspects of their own characters of which they themselves are not fully aware. The story is more of a character sketch than a traditional tale containing a beginning, middle, and an end. The sequence of events is less important than the specific detail and the dialogue between the couple. (Esch, 2009) He is currently cheating on his wife with a barely-legal girl he has been having an affair with since she was sixteen. I think he is a man who doesn’t know what he wants. In the story when she is talking about marrying him and having his children down the road, he doesn’t seem to be much for it at least not as much as her. I think he really feels bad for what he is doing but he is caught up in the moment of the relationship and how easy it is, but doesn’t think through the consequences. I think he drinks so much to forget about what he is doing to his wife and he knows it is wrong, so drinking helps him cope with the last 2 years of having an affair, and soon to be a divorce that he states at the end of the story. He also seems to very demeaning towards women and it seems as if again he is not happy with his life he has lead on. Another thing is when he talks about his wife feeling safer when the lights are on when...
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