Character Analysis of Jack Potter in "Bride Commes to Yellow Sun"

Essay by MccaddenSucksUniversity, Bachelor's July 2004

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By Lee A. Zito

Jack Potter is the town Marshall. He represents the brave and honorable men of the old west. The story is surrounded around how Potter himself interacts and reacts to his surroundings. He's fair and also good with a gun, since he never took advantage over Scratchy Wilson. We learn that Potter is very self-conscious of the change from the gun toting, lonely Marshall, to married man.

We also find Potter is embarrassed in the great eastern train car. He is not used to the fancy Victorian environment, where he feels unable to blend. His feelings concerning the train reveal his discomfort in an unfamiliar setting. When he and his wife finally get home, they are confronted by Scratchy.

Scratchy challenges the newly wed Potter to a shoot out. When Potter reveals that he is unarmed, Scratchy disappointedly walks away. The significance of Potter without a gun to Scratchy and the reader is that it is the end of a time.

Now Potter is a married man, one that is dedicated to his wife. Only the reader knows that Jack feels that he has made a mistake by getting married. He feels that he has betrayed his "duty to his friends," the members of an "innocent and unsuspecting community." He carries this guilt with him as the new married Marshall.