The Character of Jones's Daughter in Williams’ Taking Care

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Two Works Cited In the short story, "Taking Care", by Joy Williams, a preacher deals learns to deal with his wife being in the hospital with a rare blood disease as well as taking care of his granddaughter while his daughter is away. His daughter, playing only a small role in the story, is still a rather round character. The author, Williams, depicts the characteristics of Jones's daughter very carefully through her actions. Although Jones's daughter is not a main character in this story, she does add various ideas for the reader to think about while reading the short story. Her characteristics and mannerisms are that of superficiality, selfishness, irresponsibility, and capriciousness. These characteristics are displayed continuously throughout the story.

Jones's daughter exhibits superficiality through actions. The text reads, "Jones's daughter has fallen in with the stars and is using the heavens, as Jones would be the first to admit, more than he ever has. It has however, brought her only grief and confusion"(93). These two sentences imply that she is superficial. They are saying that she uses the stars to determine what her future is rather than thinking realistically and creating her own future. Even when this dependency of hers fails her, in her mind, she still relies on astrology for her future. Her leaving unopened records of prestigious composers with Jones as she left shows her superficiality once more (95).

In addition to being superficial, Jones's daughter is also a very selfish person. She left her husband, left her 6-month-old daughter, and her dog with her father and took off for Mexico (93). This is a selfish act because she has a total disregard for her father's lifestyle and for the hardship he is going through with his wife in the hospital. She does not consider that this would be an inconvenience for her father. Her selfishness is again shown by the fact that she has a total disrespect for the differences of life styles between she and her father. This is shown in the text readings, "His daughter speaks about the men she has been involved with but no longer cares about," and the previous sentence, " Naturally this pains Jones," speaking of the fact that his daughter was having an affair with an older man (95). She is also selfish in the fact that while her mother is in the hospital almost dying, she is, "walking along the beach in Mexico with two men", and even when her mother comes home from the hospital, she is, " in Mexico wandering disinterestedly through a jewelry shop" (96,98).

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