"No One's A Mystery" by Elizabeth Tallent (for English 1302 - Literature:Short Story)

Essay by MexomorphUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, July 2004

download word file, 2 pages 4.7 3 reviews

Downloaded 75 times

"No One's A Mystery," by Elizabeth Tallent, is about Jack and the eighteen year-old girl he has been having an affair with for the past two years. They are drinking tequila and talking about their future, while Jack drives them in his pickup truck through the countryside of Wyoming.

Jack is a cynical man who drinks heavily, doesn't clean his truck, and has no obvious respect for women. He is currently cheating on his wife with a barely-legal girl he has been having an affair with since she was sixteen. When he notices his wife's Cadillac on the road coming toward him in the opposite lane, he pushes the girl down onto the floor of the truck to keep her out of sight. The girl's only reaction to this is listening to the radio and dreamily staring at Jack through his legs while lying in the trash on the floor of the truck.

When he's sure his wife is beyond visual range, he allows her back into the seat and commences to tell her how sure he is of how his wife operates, and his current mistress as well. Every time the girl shares her thoughts about their life together, Jack is quick to retort and let her know that she's not being realistic.

The conflict comes from their conversation, which is about whether or not they will have a future together. The girl is convinced that she and Jack will be married with children within two years. She is caught up in the fairytale of "happily ever after", fantasizing about the wonderful life they will share, naïve to the ways of the world, and apparently, the fact that Jack is already married. Jack is repeatedly countering her comments with adamant doses of reality, telling her that she will...