All Hail the King Essay

999 Words 4 Pages
All Hail the King

“Who wears the pants in their relationship?” someone may ask about a couple. In the short story “By the River” by Jack Hodgins, Jim Styan is definitely the one wearing the pants and is in charge of most, if not all, matters regarding him and his wife’s life. In essence, Jim is the King of the jungle, or more appropriately put, he is the King of the Canadian wilderness. The balance of power in some relationships isn’t always an even fifty-fifty split. Sometimes, one of the partners has most, if not complete, control of the relationship. Unfortunately,
Jim and Crystal Styan’s relationship is a prime example of the presence of ill balanced relationships around the world.

In the relationship of Jim and Crystal
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She lets Jim talk her “first out of the classroom and then right off the island of her birth and finally up here into the mountains” to pursue “his dream” (pg 130, 133). All in all, it is extremely evident that Jim plays a very big role in this relationship and decides everything and anything while Crystal stands by and succumbs to everything he says.

Adding on to Jim Styan’s complete dominance in his relationship with
Crystal, he is also exceptionally disloyal. Time after time, Jim fails in fulfilling his dream of becoming a farmer, but Crystal is always supportive of him no matter how badly he fouls up. Jim is so ungrateful that when Crystal put “a hand on his shoulder” to comfort him when the “sway-backed old Jersey” cow “disappeared into the bush” he “shook it off” as if she is the one that failed him (pg 133). Even though Jim has “dragged her from place to place” always “looking and looking for his dream” and for that “dream and for him she had suffered” Crystal Styan has never though of leaving Jim and that miserable place (pg 133). Perhaps it is because he can no longer stand his own failure, the treacherous and ungrateful Jim left the unsuspecting Crystal all alone in the mountains with no one to care for her. Even after Jim’s unannounced departure “six months”
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