In “No One’s a Mystery” by Elizabeth Tallent, Jack gives a five-year diary to the narrator for her birthday. Why does he give her a five-year diary? Will they be together in another five years? It is obvious that Jack is an unfaithful man. Thus, he knows that the narrator will regret seeing him before long. The relationship between the narrator and Jack is not likely to last for a long time due to their differences in attitude and view point.
First of all, the narrator is still eighteen years old while jack is much older and they show a contrast in their attitude. The narrator is only sixteen years old when she starts to have sex with Jack. She is too naïve to face reality in life; moreover, she does not care about Jack’s consistent rudeness. On the contrary, she is content just being with her old boy friend; for example, even though he pushes her to the bottom of the car, she still “sang along with Rosanne Cash on the tape deck” (49). Meanwhile, Jack shows no respect about women. He keeps complaining about his wife’s “single habit . . . that irritates [him]” (49). At the same time, he has no hesitation in pushing the girl to hide their inappropriate relationship. Also, he justifies his behavior: “ ‘It’s true he taught me something about sex. It’s true there wasn’t ever much else . . .’ ” (49). He might have sex with another woman even if he keeps relationship with the girl.
Furthermore, they have different vision of their future. Jack forebodes that their relationship is going to an end: “ ‘In a year you’ll write, ‘I wonder what . . . . why I spent so many days . . .’ ” (49). He believes that she will even forget “what [his] name was” (49). His birthday present to the girl foreshadows his prediction about break-up of their relationship. In contrast, the narrator is still expecting her future with Jack by imagining “the yellow candles left over from the wedding” (49) and dreaming their future children whom she names as “Little Jack”...
Cited: Tullent, Elizabeth. “No One’s a Mystery.” Course Pack English 091 Introduction to
Literature: Fiction and Poetry. Ed. Anna Wauthy. University of the Fraser Valley. 2013. 49. Print.
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