The Zoo Story

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Not everyone in the world is well mannered, polite, and well civilized. Sometimes people can get positioned in situations where they are never taught these things in life. These people tend to be caught up in social isolation because they do not mix well with others. In the play called, “The Zoo Story” a man named Jerry’s side effects of social isolation shine through as he creates this odd kind of confrontation with another man, named Peter. Although it may seem that Jerry is just some schizophrenic lunatic, that is not the truth at all because his plan throughout the whole circumstance with Peter was to keep his attention long enough to teach Peter some life lessons and in the conclusion of their time together, die like his parents did. In “The Zoo Story”, Jerry tries to form a relationship between himself and Peter by asking numerous questions concerning his personal life in order to make an accurate comparison so that Jerry could decide what lessons taught Peter could most benefit from. Jerry looks as if he compares his relationship to Peter to the authors Marquand and Baudelaire. Charles Baudelaire is similar to Jerry in the sense that he was more scandalous and lower class, as John Phillips Marquand can compare to Peter because he was socially appealing and higher class. Jerry and Peter both live near Central Park, yet on opposite sides. Thus they live in a similar area, which may have been a factor in Jerry choosing to talk to Peter of all people. Jerry seems to have ADHD, because of the way he asks questions yet does not always wait for an answer, but keeps moving on also to keep his attention. It seems Jerry’s view of the world is a little tarnished because of his troubles from his young life and the troubles that continued through his adult life. Every detail in his life and every that he does contributes to how is as a person, you can see the effects of his actions and how it effects his whole situation. Some readers believe that Peter will go away and forget everything that happened. But to believe that they have to be very narrow minded. They are mistaken because they have not noticed that Peter’s emotions are being toyed with, and when you play with someone’s emotions it leaves a mark.

Jerry definitely had a tough young life. He first was abandoned by his mother; she left him and his father when Jerry was ten and a half years old. He had to have been troubled since the day she left with, “what did I do wrong?” when day after day she did not return. After a year of waiting, Jerry and his father received news between Christmas and New Years that his mother had died. His dad had to travel all the way down south to Alabama to retrieve her body, and then make the trip all the way back north to bring her home. His father then probably depressed himself from the loss of his wife, “celebrated” New Years for a good two weeks, probably drinking away his sorrows, then “slapped into the front of a somewhat moving omnibus.” (As stated on page 1154) All of these disheartening events occurred before young, innocent Jerry’s 12th birthday. Following the loss of his parents, he is forced to move in with his seemingly well rounded aunt. This situation may have helped him in the healing process and recovering from the tragedies he had already been through, yet his aunt dropped dead the night of his high school graduation, causing even more damage to his life, that was already falling apart. Thusly you can see the trauma’s that occurred early in his life, causing him to have a troubled mind, all leading to him wishing death upon himself.

Jerry continues to link and compare things throughout the play as he talks to Peter because everything he is talking about has something to do with his end goal. One big idea that he linked together was the idea that his rooming house was like the zoo. All the residents live at the same location yet they are all separated. At Jerry’s apartment complex, they are all confined to their...
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