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The Narrows – JC and Jubine

By on April 23rd, 2018 in Blog Posts


In the Narrows I see the importance of each character – Abbie, Bill, Link, Camilla (I see what she represents and misrepresents), the Powthers, Mrs. Treadway – because they all have roles to play in sending the message of the Narrows. Oddly enough, to me there are two that caught and held my attention. These two characters were not only in this story, but they were in the midst of the story. J.C. Powther and Jubine. These two characters one omnipresent (all present) and one omniscient (all knowing) respectively, displayed qualities that can be compared to that of Jesus and His Holy Spirit. J.C. is constantly spoken to and responds sometimes with silence. Most importantly, he is always there. J.C. Powther’s initials alone could lead anyone to believe that was his character’s purpose. To be the ever-present person, witnessing everything but not saying much, who in the end is still standing, even though others have fallen. Jubine is even described as a link, an important Holy Spirit characteristic. “Pleasure in the light musical voice, pleasure in her face, because Jubine linked them together, common acquaintance, their worlds came closer because they both knew Jubine.” At another point someone mentions that they “kept remembering the sound of Jubine’s voice, sorry, you’ll be sorry, sorry…” Jubine almost serves as a conscience here, another acknowledged characteristic of the Holy Spirit. When speaking to Peter, Jubine then says, “I always hope that some day you will realize that you are a poor peon like the rest of us. Then you will be a free man.” Now I’m no Biblical scholar, but I can recall Jesus saying, only one of the most quoted lines, “the truth shall set you free.” For Abbie, she lives this life full of fakeness. She believes if she does the things that she does she will give a “proper” representation of what a black person could be – almost like she needs to prove that they have value. In the end, after losing her husband and adopted child, she walks off with J.C. to the police station. This to me is representative of when all else fails, people turn to Jesus and He is still there holding your hand. He is going to be with her when she goes to let the truth out – to set it and her free. Who is with her? Coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe this is intentional by Ms. Ann Petry.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Arelle, very interesting observations–I like the spiritual element in your perspective, and it seems very much true that these two characters had that type of special presence in the story. And p.s. … I agree you don’t need to be a Biblical scholar to see what you see either…

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