The story under the title “Jason Who Will Be Famous” was created by Dorothy Allison, a feminist writer whose primary topics of interest are poverty and abuse. The theme of this narrative, as the title implies, is a dream of fame. However, Jason, the main character, does not anticipate his famous future as a result of the demonstration of some talent. On the contrary, he imagines the ultimate change of his life upon the fame he gains as a result of being kidnapped and surviving it. The short story written by Allison presents an example of a teenager dreaming of fame as a means of reconnecting with his divorced parents. In this paper, the personal motifs of the teenager will be analyzed following the story’s plot.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
On several pages, Allison describes how Jason walks along the road to his mother’s home and vividly dreams about the day when he will be snatched and held in captivity for months. He thinks that he will survive this traumatic experience and gain global fame; he will be interviewed; everybody will listen to him and care for his opinion. Daydreaming, the boy pictures how he will be held in a basement, where he will develop some extraordinary talents, such as poetry or story-telling, and become very strong as a result of intensive working out (Allison 158). Overall, he fantasizes about the better person he would become if he survived abduction.
The motifs behind such an extraordinary dreaming about fame are complex and implied in the text. Indeed, the reason why Jason sees trauma as the only way to gain fame is his real-life traumatizing experience. In his thoughts, he mentions that “they don’t understand. No one does,” meaning that he is a misfit who suffers from a lack of attention and understanding (Allison 153). By “they,” he might mean his parents, who divorced and made Jason’s life complicated. He might have been abused in his life because he dreams of having “all those muscles” and having “gotten past being scared” (Allison 158). Therefore, only captivity and more suffering can make him become extraordinary and attract his father’s attention.
Indeed, the image of the father appears very often throughout the text. Since the boy was abandoned by his father, the psychological trauma imposed the fantasies in which the father would be “different once he sees his son clear” (Allison 159). Having experienced a lot of pain in his life, Jason does not see any other way to become famous than demonstrating how he can survive trauma. The pain that gives basis to the dreams of fame is linked to the detachment of the son from his father. The description of the interviewer who would take Jason seriously after months in captivity resembles the depiction of his father; both men are older and have thin grey hair.
Such a similarity implies that the main reason for Jason to anticipate fame through abduction is not only to change his own personality. He also wants to change the others (his father in particular), as well as shift their attitude toward him. Overall, such a desperate desire to be traumatized and become a hero who survived is conditioned by the complex, severe psychological conditions of a teenager who does not receive enough attention and understanding. Jason believes that only a significant event in his life can make everything different, include him.
Allison, Dorothy. “Jason Who Will Be Famous.” New Stories from the South 2010: The Year’s Best, edited by Amy Hempel, Algonquin Books, 2010, pp. 151-162.