Monday, February 11, 2008

Living Three Lives

Even though Lawd Today! takes place over only one day, the reader is clearly clued into the three different lives Jake leads. Separated into distinct sections by Wright, we see that Jake is essentially three different people throughout his day. Starting at home with Lil, we see a Jake that is power-hungry and constantly angry. He sees Lil as his great tormenter and the cause of almost all his pain. By physically controlling her, he asserts his dominance while still realizing her power over him. After his home life, we see a new Jake; one that comes alive when interacting within his work life. This time, Jake is no longer the dominating force. Working as an African-American man in the 1930s, Jake is truly at the discretion of his white superiors. He yearns for more power and respect, but given the time period, will not be afforded it. Consequently, he frequently gets into conflict with his superiors, leading to his job status being in jeopardy. After work, we see yet another Jake come forward. Once again, he has a dominating power, only this time it is the result of his money rather than strength. While at the whore house, Jake is essentially the “big man on campus” and loves the role. He relishes his time there for many reasons (until it abruptly ends when his cash is gone). Jake truly is three different persons depending on the circumstance.

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