Analysis of Neil Gaiman’s story: Don’t Ask Jack
A pure memory. A truthful memory that is seen through the eyes of different individuals. The creepy, yet capturing toy that never seems to be forgotten. As we grow all our old toys seem to either be broken, thrown out or just simply lost and then forgotten. We may forget them, but do they forget us, and if they do not – what does that mean for us and our future?
The short story “Don’t Ask Jack” was written in 2009 by Neil Gaiman who is an English author of inter alia short stories. Neil Gaiman’s short story “Don’t Ask Jack” follows significant themes such as the passing of time and childhood. The story is following the Jack-in-the-box and how it haunts the children who have possession of it. The …show more content…
Every time the children talk about the Jack-in-the-box it is grey days. The children have made up stories about Jack and his personality such as him being an evil wizard or that his box is a Pandora’s box and that Jack is there as a guardian to prevent all the bad things from coming out (page 72, lines 3-8). The whole idea about the children making all these stories up contributes to the fact that one of the themes are childhood – since they are children, they do not know how to describe it correctly, so they use their creativity to explain it to each other. When the Jack-in-the-box was placed on the mantelpiece the children would hide it away in the darkness again, which in fact means that the toy was hidden under all the other toys (page 71, lines 10-18). The whole idea of them hiding the toy leads me to believe that the toy is a symbol of something that is not good. Perhaps the toy could represent a person that have somehow harmed the children – violence, assault, etc. Something that adds to this theory can be seen on page 72, lines 15-32 where it is described that even though the children left the house, they still have separate memories that cannot be forgotten completely. They keep reminiscing the Jack-in-the-box, how they went there at night and how Jack would rise from its box and tell the children to come closer. This specific segment triggers me as the reader to believe that there could have been some kind of sexual …show more content…
When we are children, an old toy may seem scary, but as time passes reality kicks in. As for the themes, you can say that Jack-in-box is a sign of childhood. The toy, Jack, represents the childhood that the children used to have. Furthermore, you can say that the children have grown up, which means that they are no longer children. The contrast of the passing of time is being thrown at the readers throughout the story (page 71, line 5 and page 71, line 12). These two similar parts of separate sentences gives us as the readers a clear idea of the fact that there is a clear line between the adults and the children. One boy died in the Great War and the other boy is in the so-called “madhouse” (a psychiatric division). The girls are still alive, but of immense importance: they both declined to revisit the house in which they had grown up in. These things show that none of the children are children anymore. They are all adults and the passing of time has shown. Another intention could also be that something happened to these children that were not good, and that even though time passes, it does not mean that all the dreadful things that happened go
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The mood throughout the story is quite mysterious. In the beginning, we meet the children who are exceedingly afraid of the Jack-in-the-box. Another significant fact is that no one knows where the toy has come from – it seems that the author wants the readers to believe that the toy haphazardly appeared. Something that is also noteworthy to mention is the description of the toy - the phrase ‘he’ is being used instead of ‘it’ (page 72, line 3). On this specific line, you can say that the Jack-in-the-box is becoming humanized and that is perhaps because it (the Jack-in-the-box) is a symbol/metaphor for a real human being.
In the beginning, we meet the children who are exceedingly afraid of the Jack-in-the-box. Another significant fact is that no one knows where the toy has come from – it seems that the author wants the readers to believe that the toy haphazardly appeared. Something that is also noteworthy to mention is the description of the toy. The phrase ‘he’ is being used instead of ‘it’ (page 72, line 3). On this specific line, you can say that the Jack-in-the-box is becoming humanized and that is perhaps because it (the Jack-in-the-box) is a symbol/metaphor for a real human
“What! There’s no reason to be yelling when I’m right behind you. Jane, tell me again why we’re digging through all this garbage. This useless junk can be thrown away, you know that right?” argued Jack as he tries to find a way over all the boxes filled with articles and random items. As he made his way through the boxes, he finds a weird looking object. It was a little doll laying on the floor. The black eyes and black hair made jack feel odd.
It was an exciting day for young Jack (Jacob Tremblay) because it was his fifth birthday. Jack has always lived in a tiny garden shed known as “Room” with his Ma (Brie Larson). Jack was upset because of the absence of candles; his ma explained that the candles were not a necessity so she did not put them on the list for the Sunday treat that Old Nick would bring.
Digging holes and building towers and Louis being mentioned on the same page in the text shows that these three things must have a connection in some way. The box represents all of those things. The inside of the box represents the holes that Amy and Louis dug, the height of the box represents the towers that Amy and Louis built, and the box overall represents Louis, because Amy and Louis built the towers and dug the holes together. Another technique that conveys this idea through colour and tone. This technique is shown through the boxes shades of brown used in its colours. It is a mixture of different shades of brown. These different browns make the box look aged. The aging of the box represents how long it has been since Amy moved away from Louis. As this box were to get older, it would represent how long Amy and Louis have been apart, and how long Amy has only been able to remember Louis. The age of the box can tell the responder, and Amy, how long she has been remembering them. Therefore, the idea that the box is a way to help Amy remember Louis has been clearly demonstrated through the techniques symbolism and colour and
Taken from Neil Gaiman’s ‘Don’t Ask Jack’, this extract is a descriptive story focussing on the toy Jack in the box. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed character, the story of Jack takes place in a grand house as a nursery where the toy Jack is stored. Through the voice of the narrator, Gaiman uses a sombre tone from the beginning to the end as children do not play with it and ignore it after they grow up. By utilizing a raft of emotive language, sensory detail and allusion, Gaiman addresses the children attitudes towards the toy Jack and the passing of time. The author uses several declarative statements to emphasis the fact that ‘children don’t play with it’ and sets up the tone for story.
Taking advantage of an opportunity , Hill speak about how boxes are just being used for non important items. Hill stated that , “ What is box ? Whatever it is must be pretty important , because I’ve traveled with it , moved it, from apartment to apartment to apartment” (1). Describing what was in his box come in to tell readers how they traveled with the box everyday and everyday they are mistreating the use of the box. Readers go from one apartment to the next apartment. Do they know if those boxes have feelings but all they know about that their clothes are in that boxes. Connecting to the boxes the author pull some strings on replacing the boxes with us humans how some readers only care about certain people that only have a value on their
Later that month, my parents and I visited the library. It marked my first time at a library, and seeing all those colorful shelves felt overwhelming. In the process of picking books, I left Jack on a shelf. If that hadn’t been bad enough, my family drove off by the time I noticed. I had to go back; if I truly needed to, I would walk all four miles to see him
For example a comfort object is a common word used in the book. A comfort object is something that makes someone feel comfortable. Comfort objects serve the same purpose as stuffed animals. They are animals that are real and ordinary, such as an elephant or a giraffe, but in The Giver’s community they are considered imaginary because no one has ever seen them. Comfort objects help the children feel safe when they make the transition from nurture center to their assigned families. The children from ages one to seven in the book have a comfort object, until they turn eight. Lily, a 7 year old, has an elephant as her comfort object. Every night she happily takes her elephant to bed with her. Lilly's older brother, Jonas knows the comfort objects were always imaginary creatures. His own comfort object was an
The box had a latch that was rusted. I asked dad what it was and he said “ Don’t open that box. The symbols say hide at all cost!” After that I took the box upstairs in my room. My thoughts said don't open the box but, I had too. The latch was hard but, I pried it open. Inside it had three symbols that were a plane, a plane falling, and a skull. I was confused but then I realized it meant a plane crash was going to happen.
The fantastical world of childhood is animated through objects, as space for us to begin a dialogue with our imagination and ourselves. It is here that we project our interpretations of the world around us and begin to form our worldview: the ‘toy world presents a projection of the world of everyday life’. We project, through our early perceptions, onto the material world of toys to find meaning within our fantasies. In this way the toy as an object can only ever represent a narrative born out of fantasy rather than that of reality: ‘it initiates another world, the world of daydream.’ This dominion of daydream and fantasy may take influence from the real world, but once inside these fantasy narratives the child enters a different temporal space, one that is rarely accessible to the adult, where narratives extend beyond any modes of past, present or future but occupy a different sphere;
Katie receives an empty box, which she uses to cope with her mother’s death. First, she receives a gift from her dying mother which turns out to be an empty box. Then her mother takes her last breath while saying “It’s you.” Lastly, she fills the box with her own writings and feelings. Katie’s box is her, in a sense that she is empty, but she fills the hole her mother left in her heart with memories.
In this scene the children are recalling Alice’s death. They say “’Little Alice died last year …If you listen by that grave, in sun and shower, With your ear down, little Alice never cries;’” (Line 39). Then they go on to say “’It is good when it happens’ …That we die before our time!’” (Line 51). In the first line they say in simpler terms how now that Little Alice is dead she never cries, and in the second that it is good that they die young so they do not have to suffer in those conditions. She uses this imagery and choice words from the children, again, to emphasize the cruel conditions of child labor. It shows that they were in so much suffering and sorrow that, even as children, they would rather
When we are children, an old toy may seem frightening, but as time passes reality kicks in. As for the themes, you can say that the Jack-in-box is a sign of childhood. The toy, Jack, represents the youth that the children used to have. Furthermore, you can state that the children have grown up, which means that they are no longer children. You can hereof say that the passing of time is a contrast that is mentioned multiple times throughout the story (page 71, line 5 and page 71, line 12). These two similar parts of separate sentences give us, as the readers, a vivid idea of the fact that there is a clear line between the adults and the children. One boy died in "the Great War," and the other boy is in the so-called “madhouse” (a psychiatric division). The girls are still alive, but of immense importance: they both declined to revisit the house in which they had grown up. These things show that none of the children are children anymore. They are all adults and the passing of time has shown. Another intention could also be that something happened to these children that were not good and even though time passes, it does not mean that all the dreadful things that happened go