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What do you find interesting about the way in which Frazier presents Inman and Veasey’s encounter with Junior?
Frazier presents Inman and Veasey, who encountered Junior, is an interesting one because we at first see Junior as a man who is loyal and caring, however at further dissection we see him as a cruel, manipulative and calculating man, who is the source of all evil, because this novel is about evil.
Frazier uses languages to describe Junior, he is described as a: “Great bush burnsides fuzzed out to his jawbone peered from under the brim’s shadow with dark eyes, the lids swollen and hooded as a raptor’s.” This gives an image of a man who is quite “old”, however the words such as: “shadow…dark eyes” suggest to me that he is the meaning of true evil, and that Inman and Veasey shall be in danger if they stay with him.
Later on the novel, when Inman and Veasey go to Junior’s house, Frazier uses animal symbolism such as “cocks…three legged, patchy-haired dog.” Which brings that this world is not a pleasant one, and evil roams everywhere, also that this world is not safe at all.
Frazier makes us the audience despise Junior because when the “dog” is kicked and is thought to be dead, he tell us that: “I don’t give a shit one way or the other.” Frazier makes distance away from him, and proves that evil has no heart.
Frazier uses the theme of food, between the encounter with Junior, Veasey and Inman, we are told that food “smell of rank meat cooking.” This suggests that the food and smell is horrible and this tells us that Junior is the same, that he is cruel.
Frazier presents to us to one of the biggest themes which is evil and Junior is the source of all evil, Frazier cleverly distances us away from Junior, because when Inman asks that little girl’s name, and she tells him it is “Lula” however, he forces her to use the name “Chastity” which is a virtue showing us that she is pure. He describes Lula mother as a “cathouse”, which is another symbol, which is used to represent that she is a whore, because she has sex with other men. Which makes sympathise with her, because the mother and daughter are not well treated compared to Inman and Veasey.
However, Frazier uses a subtheme manipulation, because Junior is showing the kindness and hospitality towards Inman and Veasey, because they are being tricked into being sold to the “homeguard”, because they want to take the “outliers” and that he gets “five dollars.” This shows the cruelty of Junior.
Frazier uses another theme, stars, when Inman is outside, the “light” is missing and that the stars are not there, which suggests that an omen is coming soon, this is true because it reflects on Inman and Veasey, who will be betrayed by Junior and that one of them shall die. “The light was thin” and it “was unmarked by stars.”
Frazier presents the house as not a normal house, but a house where everything has gone wrong, because he uses language to make it seem strange, like the “doughboys.” They move in circles, with no emotion, making them emotionless, also they show no kind of communication, and they don’t think at all, which tells me that they are lifeless, they are only bodies with no soul, or emotions, because evil (Junior) has tainted them and took their souls away. This might happen to Veasey and Inman, if they stayed too long.
Frazier uses another subtheme, instinct, you need it to survive in that house, because when Inman enters, his “feet were about to slide out from under him.” This is warning him, that you must leave this place, or else suffer from what is coming. The house is presented as a “dark…vast warren…mazy into many tiny rooms with doors on each wall in ways that defied logic.” This tells us that you have a small chance of escape and survival now, if you do not rely on your instincts.
Soon, Frazier reveals the evil in Junior, and he shows the subthemes of trickery and manipulation because he tricked them into staying in his house and he manipulated them to make his life easier. He tells them that “You’re not the first one I’ve snared in here…I get five dollars a head for every outlier.” This tells me the treachery and intelligence that Junior has and how he uses these to his advantage.
To conclude, the meeting of Junior shows that you have to rely on your instincts, because you are close to meeting the true source of evil, also you have to be alert, in case he tries to betray you. Frazier is also telling us that you cannot get rid of evil because it is in everyone’s hearts. To prevent it making it too powerful, you need to balance it with good, to make it neutral. The good guys are Inman and Veasey, while the bad guy is Junior, They balanced each other out, and when the stars were gone, they represented the light, but they were overthrown by the darkness, Junior’s tainted heart.