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Gwyn Versus Tad
The novel Jackaroo tells the mysterious adventures of an Innkeeper’s daughter and the interactions with her family during a medieval-like time period, where the common people of the land were ruled by Lords and Earls. In the story, the Innkeeper’s daughter Gwyn, along with her brother Tad, play a central part, as they are influenced in many different ways by their parents and by society. Like all children during this time period, they had certain standards in which they were to follow developing into young adults. From their transition into adulthood, Gwyn and Tad went through considerable changes. Gwyn, secretly went against the beliefs of her parents and her community, and changed for the betterment of herself. She became who she wanted to be. Gwyn made these choices internally, listening to her heart and mind. However, Gwyn actually makes two different turns in the novel. In the end, she comes out of her mystical world and back into reality. On the other hand, Tad, reacting from the external influence of his family and the Inn, changed to form the mold of the responsible son of that time period. Though taking opposite approaches, the changes of Gwyn and Tad were very significant to their growth as characters and ultimately, to their place in the world.
Gwyn started out in the novel as the hard-working, responsible daughter who contributed her all to the family and their needs. Gwyn worked a full day doing chores and helping out around the Inn. She did everything that was asked of her. She could be
seen as the model child. As Gwyn continued on in the novel, she began to feel really unappreciated. Gwyn’s parents kept driving her, expecting more and more. Gwyn understood her role as the daughter, and did not complain in any way. However, Gwyn was unhappy and knew that something was missing.
As Gwyn interacted in the community, she saw that troublesome times had passed over the land. The hard winter caused a lot of disaster, and caused many people to suffer. Personally seeing tragedy at the old lady’s house, Gwyn’s heart called out for her to help. Rebelling against her parents, Gwyn secretly took a goat to the old lady and her husband. Leaving the goat for the old couple, Gwyn felt like a savior. She knew her deed had been greatly appreciated, and this filled Gwyn with much satisfaction. Little did Gwyn know that her little favor to the old lady was just the beginning.
The emergence of the Jackaroo costume was one the most crucial events that took place in the novel, Gwyn discovered it at Old Megg’s while being trapped in the hut by an awful blizzard. The Jackaroo costume brought about the most dramatic change in Gwyn’s life. Becoming Jackaroo, Gwyn felt she could do anything. The possibilities were endless. Roaming the night as Jackaroo, Gwyn was the hero to many unfortunate people. She left coins for the fiddler and Am, and she left a baby to Blythe. Coming to the aid of others, filled Gwyn with excitement and boldness. Gwyn risked danger and the even disgrace of her family to do what made her happy. Only as Jackaroo, was Gwyn her true self.
Gwyn’s experience as Jackaroo, was only one of her turns in the novel. After talking with Win, and thinking about the whole situation, Gwyn realized that her
involvement as Jackaroo must come to a rest. As Jackaroo, Gwyn would always be an outsider and a fugitive. There was no real life as Jackaroo. Gwyn needed something else.
After getting injured and kept up at Old Megg’s with a fever, Gwyn was forced to find that something else. Being absent from the village for such a time, rumors started about her, and she became a disgrace to her family. Her family no longer wanted her, encouraged to leave. She could bring nothing but trouble to them. With the help of Burl, Gwyn got to work for the Lord and his son. She moved on with her life to another land. The Lord made Gwyn an Innkeeper, and she married Burl, who was meant for her all along. They understood each other and knew each
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Gwyn, Nell Gwyn
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