3 February 2014
Character and Relationship Evolution in Elizabeth Tallent’s “No One’s a Mystery”
"No One's A Mystery," by Elizabeth Tallent, is a short story that takes place in the dazzling heat of Cheyenne, Wyoming, in the front seat of the Jack’s dirty pick-up truck. The other main character in the story, who is also the narrator, is an eighteen year old girl who has been having an affair with Jack for the last two years. This story takes place on the young girls Eighteenth birthday. Although throughout the story, the young girls feeling of love and hope for their relationship are steadfast, the narrator takes the reader on the wavering ...view middle of the document...
The young girl ignores him and says that she will be writing about their wonderful life together, and the children they will have. At first Jack continues to disagree with the young girl’s writings, but then the reader starts seeing Jack liking the life she is describing and at the end even imaging that his daughters breath “will smell like her your milk, and its kind of a bittersweet smell” (Tallent 2). Although the reader may find it hard to like Jack, they do start seeing that he may care for the young girl but knows that a future with her may not be a reality.
The young girl in the story remains static in her love for Jack and believes in witthe future she imagines. At the beginning of the story, we see the girl as a young and idealistic girl that is blinded by love. She does not seem to care that not only is Jack married, but he has very little compassion for his wife. She continues to take his abuse when he pushes down on the floorboard while she inhales “the musk of his cigarettes in the dashboard ashtray”, “the compact wedge of muddy manure between the heal and the sole”, and “100 pop tops on the floor”, and doesn’t even notice that he insults her by comparing her to a little kid (Tallent 1). The young girl continues to be resolute on the future of their relationship even though he continues to tell her they are not going to be together in the future. At the end, she asks Jack which future he likes better and when he tells her “I like yours, but I believe mine” (Tallent 2). She tells him “It doesn’t matter, I believe mine.”(Tallent 2). The young girl is very sure that she loves Jack, even if he is married, and that they are not going to have a life together.
The perception of the young girl and Jacks relationship starts off as the reader feels sorry for the young...