The Underlying Message Of Power Essay

919 words - 4 pages

All throughout history and even modern society, power is often sought after as it gives someone the ability to do something or act in a particular way, direct the behavior of others and provide authority to a person or body. Through the pivotal years of the main character, Jason Taylor, David Mitchell’s Black Swan Green, examines this underlying message of power and control. Taking place around 1982, relationships between spouses, social groups and social cliques each evolve in their separate ways in a small village located in England. Mitchell shows how those with authority, such as Jason’s dad, the city council and even the popular kids at school, will always use power to ensure those beneath them stay there. Hidden beneath some of the more prominent themes of book, one of the underlying messages David Mitchell echoes through his novel, is the abuse and imbalance of power.
In the novel, one underlying theme is the abuse of power in which the popular kids use to negatively impact Jason. Mitchell seems to toy with the ideas of power by illustrating the interactions between Jason and those who he desires to be. When watching the progression of Jason’s identity, the pressures to fit in and the aggression of those who cause Jason’s confidence to falter are all a result of the torment he receives from kids like Ross Wilcox and Gary Drake: “I heard the feet come thudding up but before I’d time to turn, a rugby tackle knocked me flat. My face was smeared into mud. ‘Eat as much as yer want, Taylor!’ Ross Wilcox, sure enough. ‘Maggots love this stuff!’ Gary Drake, sure enough...I got to my feet, trembling with victimhood” (Mitchell 201). Since Wilcox and Drake are known as the cool kids, they possess more power and control over those beneath them. To make themselves constantly appear above everyone else, they use their influence to boss around kids like Taylor and turn them into their laughingstock. Those who possess power will do anything to ensure that those beneath them stay beneath them. While reading Lord of the Flies in english class, Gary Drake decides to mock Jason’s stuttering problem: “Gary Drake read with exaggerate polish, just to contrast with how he read next. ‘This generosssity brought a ssss-SSS-patter—’ (He got me. Boys were sniggering. Girls were looking round at me. My head burst into flames of shame.) ‘—of applause from the boys, s-s-s-s-s-s-ss-so—” (Mitchell 209) By humiliating Jason in front of their entire class and receiving what we wanted, which is a good laugh, Gary Drake cements his social standings...

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