Job gets a job


In the first few chapters the differences gender, class and race are brought up in different scenes, and many with relation to Job.

Holly decides he needs a nurse, but it must be a man since “no woman to lord it over me about the child and steal his affections from me”. (26). This shows how a man is seen as fit for the job, since he would be less emotionally attached. Job was introduced first by his qualifications to be a nurse to take care of Leo. As readers we only know of his name after this description. It is thee most fitting of a name, Holly was looking for a man for this job, and found Job. It reminded me of all the subtle, and not so subtle names in the previous books we have read (ie Ablewhite). Job’s name blatantly shows how he first became involved with Holly and Leo. Job is a static character throughout, his actions relative to Leo and Holly being consistent. He is very straightforward and remains faithful to his job and employer, at the end of chapter 3 saying he will join if they need someone to take care of them. They are grown men, but still can (and do) use him. He does in fact help them during the squall, yelling and getting them over to the smaller boat.

As Holly says (on p35) “Job was a most matter-of-fact specimen of a matter-of-fact class”. Almost every time I read something that he said, it was simply agreeing to a previous statement or pointing out the obvious. There is no opinion in his words; “That’s it, sir!”  and “Clear as a haystack, sir!” (35,64). He works for Holly, and therefore agrees and supports his comments, however redundant it might be. Perhaps the most confusing line that I read was on page 49: “I say sir, that it is a lie, and, if it be true, I hope Mr. Leo won’t meddle with no such things, for no good can’t come of it”. He is unsure what to think, weighs the possibilities of the validity of the ‘quest’, and tries to put some opinion into the sentence, but (potentially to not sway Leo on way or the other), hides it behind numerous negatives, and double negatives.

This lack of opinions is aside from his racist comments he makes in chapter 4. After saying a few comments, even the author (Holly) notes how Job is “no admirer of the manners and customs of our dark-skinned brothers”. This is just the tip of the iceberg, of the racial superiority notion that is continued in the sections read. Although Job doesn’t give his opinions openly to Leo and Holly back in England, he does here. Could this be because of here he sees himself in a class closer to Leo and Holly, and that they are a superior class then the darker men on the boat?

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