A Few Notes For Orpheus
A Few Notes for Orpheus
Who is Jake?
The short story "A Few Notes for Orpheus" by Don Bailey was a rather profoundly unique tale about a reserved character by the name of Jake. Jake's personality and interaction with others revealed a variety of things about his character, relationships, and his ideals. Over the course of the story, Jake ended up realizing the importance of family relations and moving on in life upon discovering that dwelling on past incidents achieves nothing but heartache and conflict.
Jake's personality played a huge role in the understanding of this story. In general, he was a self-absorbed and timid young man who avoided socializing with others. Being a man who enjoyed keeping his privacy, Jake ended up distancing himself from his family and friends, just like his father did to him since he was a boy. The quote, "He wasn't around when I tried my stunts; the day I finally made the hockey team and actually scored a goal", is one of the many instances where Jake's father showed no interest in his son. Moreover, the fact that Jake is separated from his wife and daughter seems to indicate that the separation was a part of the reason why he's so negative and cynical. That is, he is what he is because of something that occurred between his wife and himself. Despite all of this, Jake still is a good person. He was shown to be a calm, considerate, and understanding human being when he reluctantly agreed to go over to his parent's cottage. He went there out of the goodness of his heart to simply help support his mother through his father's sickness. However, it wasn't until the drowning of his daughter Bernice at the end of the story that Jake realized that he had to move on and put his experiences with his father behind. Jake had to learn to live his own life instead of living in his father's shadow.
Jakes cynical and self-centered personality ended up resulting in broken relationships. He virtually had no contact with his parents, and hadn't spoken with his daughter and his wife Edith in months. The quote, "I was sorry that that was all I could be. There was nothing I could change or would if I could, except maybe to never have had a phone installed." on page 29 shows that he was evasive because it was the way he was molded ever since he was a child. He didn't mean to cause any of the damage he hade to his family. The fact that he genuinely took his daughter out for the weekend showed that he still cared for his wife and that there was still some hope in him to set things right with his wife and daughter. Conversely, Jake had a rough relationship with his parents because of his father. His father treated him as a child even as a grown man. In fact, his father told him that he was worse than a girl when he went fishing with his daughter at the cottage. Throughout this entire story, Jake was going through a...