MY BROTHER JACK
1.There are numerous reasons why this novel is titled My brother Jack. The title My Brother Jack deludes the reader in thinking the novel is based on Jack, yet we find that the prevailing concern is not ‘My Brother Jack’ at all. The title suggests a rewriting of Jack’s life.
The novel is also called My Brother Jack because of the fact that the author George Johnston, portrayed as David had a brother named Jack, with whom he shared a good relationship with and was also a prominent person in his life. Since Jack is the person in whom David has the greatest sense of identity and reverence, it may well be an appropriate title. In the novel My Brother Jack David often writes about Jack and recapitulates the episodes of his life with Jack. This is evident in a statement David made about his brother as he was travelling on a train.‘I saw him suddenly as a find of sunburnt Icarus, a freeman, buoyant and soaring in his own air, in the clear and boundless space of an element families yet new’ (pg 294).
It is evident through examples, why the novel was called ‘My Brother Jack’.
The title may suggest an account of Jack’s life through the eyes of David. The perception you get is that Jack’s life is of greater importance than David’s. Shifting the novel focus from his own inadequacies, George Johnston tries to in fact get the reader to confront these issues.
2. George Johnston uses the theme of deception all through the novel, through the character of David Meredith. David was the most deceitful character in the novel. He did not care who he hurt on the way to getting away from his plain and mediocre life. David basically hurt everyone in his life that ever cared about him. George Johnston used the theme of deception when David continuously deceived his parents. He lied to his parents about the paintings being his own when they were only a lithograph of Tom Middleton’s work.
‘…I would also bring printed samples of work that Tom Middleton had done, and say that I had lithographed them;’ (pg 83).
Through the lies that David told and the pain that he caused it is quite clear that George Johnston has used the theme of deception throughout the novel.
3. There is an obvious contrast between his outer success and his inner failure.