Jaqueline Kennedy

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade May 2001

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Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis was a unique woman, always in the public eye. With much less privacy than any other woman in the country at her time, she had to cope with every situation in her life in a different way in order to keep her life privately. Jackie O. was a woman with many faces, some real, and some put on for the public image she wanted others to perceive. This book shows the many sides of Jackie and that she is not only a normal human being, but had far more aspects of her personality than the public eye ever got a glimpse of. The theme was something intriguing because it was a theme rarely introduced by biographers of Jackie O. This book is to show all sides of Jackie's personality and lifestyle that she had put a conscious effort into keeping hidden. Developing all the way in the beginning of Jackie's childhood, the theme showed how circumstances in her childhood shaped her personality, also how parts of her personality she was simply born with.

This book shows the way Jackie reacts to events all throughout her life, and how her complex and sometimes confusing moods can confuse a person as to how she truly is. This author is successful portraying the true personality of Jackie K. As opposed to other biographers, Lester David is successful in showing the reader not only an authorized self-made opinion of Jackie, but also other's opinions, and how the rest of the world saw her.

David uses many literary techniques throughout the biography, to better describe the contrasts of the real and public lives of Jackie O. Many times, David uses irony to let the reader know the vast difference between Jackie's thoughts, and her words. Flashbacks are also put into use when relating why Jackie acted the way that she did in many situations as an adult to the way she acted in situations as a child. Essentially, David uses these techniques in the most constructive way possible. These techniques helped to pull together the biography and make more sense of the private and complex world Jackie lived in.

Being that this biography begins 1929 and tracks Jackie's life all the way up until her death in 1994. The author does not dwell on any particular event; the main focus of the book is to show all aspects of Jackie's private personality. Although less time is set on her childhood than any other period of her life, it is logical. Putting into consideration that someone's personality is not completely developed as a child, and that the biography's focus is her personality, it was inevitable to have the lesser amount of book focused on her childhood.

This book shows how judgmental the attitude was of the American society all the way from the late 1950's up until the 1990's. It was apparent that Jackie felt the need to put on a constant persona for the public eye all the way down to the intonation of her voice. Most of the world never knew that Jackie K. did have mood swings, and had adult tantrums. She made a very conscious effort of keeping her public persona separate from her personal one, and made sure her family did the same. Jackie always made sure her children did not talk to reporters without her permission, and whatever Jackie said, her children had respectfully obeyed. This woman had more power and intelligence than anyone ever gave her credit for. Without a doubt Jackie O. made a permanent impact on American Society.

I personally felt this book was the best biography I have ever read. The biographer showed a side of a famous person that wasn't what everyone already knew. It takes the reader into a part of Jackie O.'s life that no one ever saw, and showed habits and personality traits most people would never guess. Also it shows her lifestyle past "the first wife" role she took on. The book wasn't based on her life with Kennedy, but based on her life point blank. I liked this book because it was not just facts about her life, but facts linked up with her emotions. It was not only a book about history, but it was a story about a person and all of her trials and tribulations. I definitely feel as though I have more of an understanding of the era she lived in, and the life of any first lady. This book was not only a great book, but let me in on things I never would known I would be interested in. Lester David left to questions about Jackie O. in my mind and painted a complete picture of her life for me. Most books can always leave some strings hanging leaving the reader dissatisfied or confused. I had no confusion about Jackie O. by the end of this book, and most importantly I was content and satisfied with what I read.