Matthew Bilohlavek essay From Great Blue, To Filthy Brown
Jamie, what a character! He really is the square peg trying to fit into that round hole isn’t he? I do admire the guy though. He does some wild transformations in this story. I really think that’s why I can relate to the boy. From war hero to drunken farm hand; liberator to adulterer, this boy has many faces!
Jamie is the chick magnet of the family in Mudbound. It seems every woman who comes in contact with him is overwhelmed by his persona. Not even his brother’s “loving” wife can resist this strapping young lad. This boy does go through changes though. He is actually in a state of turmoil which he tries to hide. Jamie comes back from the war as a hero and becomes a depository for any alcohol that wants to pry in his stomach. In this aspect I can absolutely relate to him. Jamie has a lot of demons he is trying to drink away. I believe his father is making things a great bit more difficult.
Through my childhood I had a father who was emotionally abusive toward me. I grew up thinking my name was “loser”. The same thing goes for Jamie in Mudbound. Jamie’s father is condescending towards him as well. After the war, Jamie tries delves into the alcohol like it’s a protein powder to a body builder. He doesn’t want to remember certain things and the liquor helps him forget. I drank massive amounts of alcohol to get away. But like Jamie, my father wouldn’t let me forget. It’s too bad I didn’t have a pillow handy!
I can relate to Jamie in this book in many ways. I feel like his problems are my problems as well. Both of us could use some help on handling our problems a little better.