The main objective of the book Gap Creek is to educate people about the trials and challenges of marriage. The speaker of the book, Julie Harmon tells about her story as a teenager and continues till the time she met Hank and married him. Till then, the story focuses more on their lives as a couple. The story is narrated from the perspective of the main character Julie. It started on her life as a teenager. At an early age she started to help in chores and in some of his father’s work. She lives with her father, mother Delia, baby brother Meseiner, young sister Rosie and baby sister Carolyn.
Meseiner, being the only boy, was spoiled by her parents. However, it was not long when he passed away following her father being sick. Since then her mother was not able to do the things she used to and it was up to her and her sister Rosie to do the house works since her sister Carolyn is now the one being spoiled by her mom. She works hard like a man since she knows that if does not take charge and do her father’s work, nobody would get it done. Unfortunately, her father didn’t make it and passed away too. Her family was having a hard time adjusting to her father’s death but later on found a way to still keep the family intact.
One day when Julie and her mother were working on a field, a man came by asking for directions. Hank Richards, who came from downtown, went to look for the Willards on the mountains since they are selling sweet taters. Later on, he and Julie took a special interest on each other, and after spending time with each other twice, Hank asked Julie to marry him. Julie agreed, not bothered by her age and current life situation. Her mother did not approve of this for she thinks that Julie is not ready for a married life. Nevertheless, her mother failed on convincing her to back out of the marriage.
After Julie and Hank got married, they move to Gap Creek and her sister Rosie took over on the family obligations. The bad news is that the new couple didn’t have a place to live, so they agreed to live with Mr. Pendergast who allowed them to live with him in exchange for household services. Hank works all day and Julie does the chores. When Hank’s mother came to visit, Julie accidently caught fire while preparing dinner for Hank’s mother. When all of them were safe outside the house, Mr. Pendergast rushed inside to get is pension money. Sorry to say, Mr.
Pedergast didn’t make it for the fire was to big. When the fire was cleared, they were able to retrieve Mr. Pendergast’s body, burned and lifeless. Julie and Hank, uncertain of their future, with a baby on the way didn’t know how long they could stay in the house before the heirs take it. Hank Richards, though a supporting character, is the one being talked about in this paper. Some of his actions showed defense mechanisms studied by Freud. When he was in the field asking directions from Julie’s mother, he showed displacement for he used Julie’s mother in order to get close to Julie.
Displacement is defined as the redirection of an impulse to a substitute target. Another example was when Hank and Julie for fighting on Christmas. Hank who’s originally angry at Julie for constantly asking nonsense question, instead directed his anger to the flood and the storm leaving an angry and sarcastic response to Julie – “If the creek rises we won’t be able to get out of the house without a boat” – when asked what to do if the flood rises. He also showed projection when he was talking to Julie’s mother like an old man.
He also illustrated this when they were in the forest and said that there are a lot of varmints in there, in which he referred the varmints to the Willards. When we say projection, we tend to deny our thoughts and feelings by attributing them to somebody else. Hank however showed isolation a lot of times. First was when he was a Julie’s house for dinner and she invited Julie to go to the spring for he said that drinking cold water is good after hot dinner, isolating the fact that Julie spilled coffee in his pants. It is possible for someone to portray to characters at once.
In this case, Hank also showed reaction formation for he “believed the opposite”, meaning even after Julie spilled hot coffee on his new bought pants, he came to love her more. He also showed reaction formation when during a storm, he said that they never had floods on Christmas even if he knows that that happens because they live on a mountain before. To make it more clear, isolation is defined as stripping or isolating the emotions from a difficult memory or threatening impulse. Reaction formation, as mentioned earlier, “believing on the opposite”. Most of Hank’s attitude shows intellectualization or rationalization.
Some of these were when Hank was asked by Julie about banjos. Hank, having a bad memory with his father when talk about banjos becomes rather more focused on the idea on how the banjo was made out of the skin of a cat. When he and Julie went to the spring to drink, instead of commenting on how refreshing the water was he prefers to compare the idea the water’s taste from rubies and emeralds. When Julie talks about his father using wine for rheumatism, Hank engaged on the conversation that pokeberry is better for its therapeutic on the joints and explains how the wine can warm and soothe the joint.
Intellectualization is defined as analyzing instead of feeling and reacting, which Hank showed most of the time when he answers intelligent but unrelated answer. On the situation when Julie asked Hank to sing a Christmas carol, Hank answered him that he can’t remember how to sing depicts denial and at the same time, repression. He was in denial that he can’t sing and at the same unconsciously repressing the idea that he can sing for he is more focused on the flood at that time.
Denial is defined as falsifying reality which is somewhat close to repression. Repression however, means not being able to remember things. Gap Creek was truly wonderful and a lot of values can be learned. The trials and challenges that Julie and Hank overcome were really admirable for with each obstacle that would come to them, both of them always want to manage to put their lives back again. Works Cited Cherry, Kendra. ‘Defense Mechanism’. About. com: Psychology. Web. 18 May 2010. <http://www. psyhology. about. com>