Sunteți pe pagina 1din 6

ANALYSIS OF LUCKY JIM Author Kingsley Amis By Melissa Martnez

Plot summary Jim Dixon is a middle low class junior lecturer at an unknown university in England, he was trying to keep the job he did not like by playing along with the main lecturers, in this case, Ned Welch, the one Jims fate depended on. At the beginning he was not interested in what he is doing and he just did it to be part of the university for this he had to go the Welches meetings just to suck up as he specifically said it. But what he never imagined was that in one of those balls or meetings he would meet the woman he would spend his life with, but to get her he had to struggle with more than just luck. At first, Jim met Margaret Peel, a woman who had attempted to kill herself because of her divorce with Mr. Catchpole, but lucky for many and unlucky for her she had not succeeded. Their relationship was always forced by Margaret, she always complained and gave out to Jim for looking at another woman when she was around, or even helping another person. This was driving Jim mental and after meeting Christine he decided to take that to an end. During his meeting at the Welches. Jim had the opportunity to meet Christine a twenty year old girl who was fed up with an arrogant and too full of himself boyfriend, Bertrand, an artist who had traveled all over the world to lecture people about his knowledge of the arts, which junior lectures always had to pay attention to in order to be liked by the boss and be kept till the next year. In addition to his Bertrand was having an affair with Carol, a married woman in her forties who also belonged to the Welch circle. Later on at Jims lecture Merrie England she found out what was happening. At this lecture there were more than truths revealed. Finally Jim stood up for himself and spoke out everything he was feeling towards the head lecturers he was working with, this was a speech to remember. In the end luck was very gentle with Jim, he got a job offer in London, where Christine also lived, as an assistant of an art patrol Gore-Urquhart a rich, successful and well-mannered man, so without even thinking it twice Jim left everything behind and ran to the train station where Christine awaited for him to leave together and never come back.

Character analysis

Jim Dixon Jim Dixon is a junior lecturer in the history department of a provincial university in England Dixon is unremarkable, he does not have the qualities to be a lecturer but he had to do something with his life. He releases his frustration through faces he makes to himself in private, which are named by him. Dixon is a gentle and humble man and his indecisive actions reflect the fear of being sacked by the term of the following month. His humbleness is also reflected with Margaret who he does not really like but the friendship forces him to do it. His luck changed throughout the novel when he started to believe that he could actually make a change with his life and fight for what he wanted, he could stand up for himself and finally say what he had to say without fear, because despite the hypocrisy he might have had towards his superiors he always wanted to tell the truth and his thoughts about the current social administration as well as education. Margaret Peel Margaret is a senior lecturer at university. Margaret and Dixon became friends at the very start of the novel. Margaret shares Jim's feelings about the Welches. However she is slightly more open to share with them. Margaret is less beautiful and refined than Christine Callaghan, and she overcompensates for her low quality makeup and old-like clothing. Margaret is jealous and condescending towards Jim calling him poor James. She also suffers from emotional stability due to her suicide attempt. Margaret's largest fault is her tendency toward the melodramatic, but as the novel proceeds she becomes more manipulative. The culmination of her manipulation is Catchpole's revelation to Dixon through a phone call; he claims that Margaret has faked her suicide attempt to gain romantic attention from either one of them.

Christine Callaghan She is always on Bertrand's arm and listens to every word he says, laughs at his jokes, and acts as it was part of her role as a fiance. Despite false maturity, Christine's sense of humor and genuineness go down. Her discreet laugh and attitude towards eating differences her from Margaret, it makes her look more natural. When Christine finally opens up to Dixon, it reveals that she is not happy with her boyfriend, Bertrand, but not just him but men. Christine is actually quite shy and reserved as well. This girl is quite nice but dislikes all the right people, such as Evan Johns and Mrs. Welch. Christine's sense of belonging leads her to stay with Bertrand, hoping for the best and doubting him as she suspects that there is an affair between him and Carol Goldsmith. Perhaps

due to her unsuccessful love life, Christine evaluates her feelings objectively, trying to make decisions about her future rather than succumbing to urges. Professor Ned Welch Professor Welch seems to have been working hard for quite a few years. He is an absentminded man who enjoys classical music, old English music, and children's artwork, not noticing whether or not his audience cares. Welch is surely not a bad person, but he is an extremely bad driver due his general lack of awareness to things around him. He and his wife have some social pretensions, they pretend to be more than what they are and invite people to their parties to show the status they do not possess. His relation with Jim and the other characters is just like a boss towards their employees. When Jim speaks his mind in the lecture this causes Welch a deep anger which consequence is firing Dixon.

Analysis In order to make this book easy to understand for the reader I divided it into four key moments and selected four aspects that reflect the British society of the time.

MOMENTS Jim arrives to the university and meets Margaret Jim has a problem with luck, but this luck smiled to him in the end. He does not like the environment he is in, he actually cannot stand it, and he has to live a life full of oppression and hierarchical power without even complaining. In this mind or when nobody is looking he makes faces or calls people names to release his tension, because he knows that if he tells the higher class what he thinks he will lose his job immediately, he has to cope on. Margaret, another lecturer at the university, is the woman he has to settle with, because pretty and elegant women like Christine are already taken by others. Therefore he tried to get along with her and despite trying it does not work out because all he can think of is the twenty year old girl waiting to be saved from Bertrand. The Welches party At this party is where Jims world shook and it is when he decides that luck has nothing to do with what has been happening to him, he understands that he has to take control over his fate and that if he wants to accomplish goals he can do it on his own. At the Welches house there is luxury to spare. All the junior lecturers have to play instruments and sing along with cellos and flutes which is not what Jim is into but he has to suck up as he is well aware of.

Later that evening Dixon met Christine whose beauty, kindness and discretion blew him away, he knew right away she was the woman he wanted for himself. Christine is the typical girl who is always under his boyfriends shadow, she does as he commands and it was starting to feed her up. When Dixon burnt Mrs. Welchs sheets she was there to offer her help and take him out of trouble, for Jim she was just amazing. The college ball Margaret forced Jim to take her to the ball and of course he had to do it but Christine was always on her mind. He rang Christine to make sure she was going to the ball but she said to him everything depended on Bertrand so he rang the Welches house pretending to be an interviewer for a well-known art magazine. He requested to talk to Bertrand and he agreed to go to the ball. In other words, Christine was going to be there. In this ball all the class circle are noticeable, the rich mingle with the rich, the middle class with the middle class and so on. Women as are bored about their husbands conversations spent more time with the junior lecturers and they found these more attractive and full of life, they dance and show attitude that may put them into awards conditions. But here is when Carol reassured to Dixon that she was cheating on her husband with Bertrand. Jim never told anything to Christine, he just made use of good discretion. Nearly at the end of this ball he ran away with Christine as Bertrand found out that the interview was a fraud. He took a taxi and left Christine at the Welches, this is when they kissed for the first time. The next day Dixon had to put up with Margarets hysteria because he had left her at the ball on her own. Jim did not know what do to anymore. All he did was telling Margaret that the relationship was not going to work and it was better to get some space and be good friends and workmates. This was a noble and sensible attitude coming from Jim, two aspects that characterize him all over the book, he is a very conscious man and he is really down to earth, besides he did not love Margaret as he loved Christine and he could not hurt her. Merrie England lecture Jim had drunk a couple of whiskeys before the lecture and he was quite tipsy, he started his lecture and he was not making any sense of what he was saying, he talked about the past making reference to Margaret and him; Bertrand and Christine, and mentioning the future which was him and Christine, and so he continued. In this lecture Jim speaks up his mind and he is not afraid of what the boss thinks about him. He explains there is a golden rule which is putting up with arrogant and ignorant people who only think about showing off and believing they are better than others, he claims that in order to be merry, they have to break the golden rule, fight, struggle and never surrender, people must have the guts to break rules, fight for proper teaching and in this way make their lived merry, for this lecture he was sacked by Ned Welch.

During this lecture Carol and Christine were discussing, Carol was confessing that Bertrand and she were having an affair and that she was quite free to move on with Jim and stopped being played. Christine finally lives Bertrand and runs to Jims arms, she leaves a message with one of his roommates. Before meeting Christine Jim still feels sorry for Margaret but Mr. Catchpole rings him asking how she is doing, he tells her that Margaret just feeds on emotional tension and that she will eventually moves on, this clears the path for Jim who gets to the train station three minutes before the train goes with one way ticket to his new job in London as a personal assistant and his girlfriend.

ASPECTS Hypocrisy and pretention Along the novel all the characters specially the junior lecturers have to pretend and be fake in order to be kept by Ned Welch who is always bossing around and making good use of his educational status among the juniors. Dixon specially is on top of the list; he is always making faces, taking to himself in the mirror in the loo because he cannot say anything to anybody, and pretending he is Welch, bossing around. Even the junior lectures are hypocrite among themselves, they are always smiling and sucking up to try and pass the two year probation to see if they can become real lecturers at the university. This does not only happen in the educational field but also in romance as it is with Bertrand and Christine, they both have to pretend they love each other when the man is having an affair with another woman and Christine keeps being faithful to him. Even Dixon is always faking feelings for Margaret and showing sympathy to her after the suicide attempt which allowed Margaret to get the wrong idea and create the illusion that Dixon was going to be with her forever. Luck The importance of luck is signaled first by the title, and then by repeating along the novel. This presents both the bad and good luck of Jim, but Jim's feelings and views towards luck become more elaborate as the story continues. The humor in the novel is provided by Jims bad luck, but this later becomes self-pity. Bad luck reflects on the episode with Mrs. Welch's sheets. Once Dixon learns to trust luck, things change for him, and he begins to have an opinion over his fat

Straightforward character

Jim Dixon is the only one in this novel that stands out for this, he is the only who has what it takes to tell people that he does not like them including Ned Welch, that is why his lecture is memorable. The other rely on their hypocritical side.

Social classes differences The aspect of the differences between social classes is shown throughout the text, and Dixon, with his eye for social, visual, and linguistic topics is often highlighting the divisions between classes. Although these distinctions are supposed to separate the members of the low, middle and high class, they actually serve to separate the characters into those who attempt to have class and those who actually possess it. The Welches, with their social pretension, do not actually show class, such as classical music and cakes for supper, and an appreciation of art, but never really have it. Meanwhile, the characters who belong to a lower social class display flaws, but are far more admirable than their pretentious enemies.