Jesus’ Son

Jesus’ Son is an anthology of 11 short stories, including, Two Men Story, Emergency, Johnson car, Beverly Home, Dun-Dun, and Dirty Wedding. Though not closely related, the different stories revolve around the narrator and talk about his life, social relationships, and aspirations. The stories are written from the perspective of an onlooker. To a large extent therefore, a reader will be able to establish a link between the different stories and determine how the events unfold. The anthology can therefore be treated as a super story, broken down into various bits, each representing a critical stage in the life of the narrator. Based on this, it is expected that the stories will demonstrate consistency all through. However, a critical analysis of the stories demonstrates a lack of consistency in the narration. In addition, some ideas contradict. Instead of showing a clear transition from one point to another, the stories point to different ends, as though told by different narrators. Jesus’ Son narration gives a lot of inconsistencies, putting to doubt the trustworthiness of the narrator.

In Dirty Wedding, the author is portrayed as a loner. He is incapable of establishing intimate relationships with women. In fact, when the other male friends come along with dates to the wedding, the author is incapable of bringing along a friend. Even at the wedding, he finds it difficult to intermingle with the ladies. On the other hand, in Two Men, the narrator dances and flirts with other women with ease. At the dance floor, he enjoys the occasion just as everyone else. Dirty Wedding and Two Men are narrated by the same onlooker. Assuming that the stories revolve around the same person, it is impossible for a single person to exhibit two completely different personalities. The short story collection does not give a transition or connecting point. Had the collection been a continuous prose, it would have been easier to conclude that the narrator underwent a character transformation. However, in a short story collection that boasts of a flow, the different personalities depicted show the narrator’s hypocrisy.

Similarly, in Beverly Hotel, the narrator is very desperate for a companion. The story paints the narrator as one seeking physical, spiritual, and sexual ‘home’. As contrasted with Dirty Wedding, Beverly Hotel reveals the narrator’s true character. Despite some instances where the narrator appears lonely, in the other stories, the narrator is depicted as a jovial person who easily mingles with other people. The narrator’s inability to maintain successful relationships is a pointer to his troubled social life. The few stints at a relationship, including flirtatious moments, are a mirror of what the narrator desires to be. Largely, the narrator’s life is hypocritical. A man who shuns women, yet desires to be in a long-lasting relationship cannot be trusted. In Beverly Hotel, the narrator adores the Mennonite Couple. It is not clear whether it is the lovely nature in which the couple conducts themselves that ignites a desire in the narrator to have a relationship of his own. However, this moment heralds a new chapter in his life, as contrasted with his former nature that enjoyed loneliness.

 The credibility of the narrator to represent the facts candidly affects the rendition of story. A critical reader may question the facts in the other stories, based on the inconsistency in the life of the narrator. Despite the fact that the story is a creative narration, the many inconsistencies make it more mystic and unbelievable.