"Jackaroo" by Cynthia Voigt. Gwyn Versus Tad

Essay by J. R. GoodmanUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, March 1996

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The novel Jackaroo tells the mysterious adventures of an Innkeeper's daughter and the interactions with her family during a medieval-like time period, where the common people of the land were ruled by Lords and Earls. In the story, the Innkeeper's daughter Gwyn, along with her brother Tad, play a central part, as they are influenced in many different ways by their parents and by society. Like all children during this time period, they had certain standards in which they were to follow developing into young adults. From their transition into adulthood, Gwyn and Tad went through considerable changes. Gwyn, secretly went against the beliefs of her parents and her community, and changed for the betterment of herself. She became who she wanted to be. Gwyn made these choices internally, listening to her heart and mind. However, Gwyn actually makes two different turns in the novel. In the end, she comes out of her mystical world and back into reality.

On the other hand, Tad, reacting from the external influence of his family and the Inn, changed to form the mold of the responsible son of that time period. Though taking opposite approaches, the changes of Gwyn and Tad were very significant to their growth as characters and ultimately, to their place in the world.

Gwyn started out in the novel as the hard-working, responsible daughter who contributed her all to the family and their needs. Gwyn worked a full day doing chores and helping out around the Inn. She did everything that was asked of her. She could be

seen as the model child. As Gwyn continued on in the novel, she began to feel really unappreciated. Gwyn's parents kept driving her, expecting more and more. Gwyn understood her role as the daughter, and did not complain in any way.