A Heavy Price to Learn a Lesson in John-Jin
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John-Jin by Rose Tremain is a short story with two main characters. We have John-Jin himself, who was Chinese and born with a disease that held back his growth. He would only grow in minute little bursts. When John-Jin became older his adopted parents took him to Manchester to see a specialist who then started him on treatments of growth hormone shots. Things started to look up but after ten years when John-Jin was 12, the shots took a bad affect on him and he developed Creutzfeldt and Jacob disease. This disease is more commonly known as Mad-Cow disease.
As for the narrator of the story, her name is Susan. She was 10 years old when John-Jin came into her family. She wanted to become a great Spanish dancer. She viewed John-Jin as beautiful as a flower. She goes into great detail as to why she thought that.
The pavilion that her father and herself would go and play miniature golf at, earlier in the story moved 5 inches out to sea and made it unsafe to use. Her father would wish at a wishing well there for John-Jin. Two years later the pavilion was rebuilt with help from girders purchased by the locals with a name engraved on them. Suzans parents bought one with John-Jins name on it.
In my own view, the pavilion stood for mortality. Meaning that nothing lasts forever and everything has its end. When the pavilion was there at the beginning of the story, Susan showed great excitement for going there and described it as a fun place to be. Toward the end of the story she didnt describe the pavilion as a great place to be anymore. Instead, she walked to the end of the pier and looked down wondering if someone was to remove John-Jins girder, would everything fall? I get a since that the narrator had the same point of view that I did. I think that what she meant by saying that is, I wonder what would have happened if John-Jin never existed anymore. Shes getting a since that no one or anything is immortal.
Susan said toward the end of the story that she knows something important now and not to wish for anything unless you know precisely what youre going to get and how. I think what she learnt was that if you wish for something and it comes true, it may seem great at the time but nothing lasts forever and to be careful because it can hurt worse after it leaves.
In conclusion, I agree with the narrator if that is what she meant by that line. She saw her father wish for John-Jin