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In Every Mirror She's Black


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How do you feel about Jonny being used as a linking figure? Do his backstory and potential diagnosis make him a sympathetic character?

Created: 09/02/21

Replies: 14

Posted Sep. 02, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2710

How do you feel about Jonny being used as a linking figure? Do his backstory and potential diagnosis make him a sympathetic character?

How do you feel about Jonny being used as a linking figure? Do his backstory and potential diagnosis make him a sympathetic character?


Posted Sep. 03, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melissa c.

Join Date: 01/10/21

Posts: 62

RE: How do you feel about Jonny ...

Jonny being used as a linking figure to the three women was very clever. In the beginning it was unclear how effectively that would play out in the storylines. But the author did an outstanding job of using Jonny as an effective link.
I did not find Jonny to be a sympathetic character at all, even with his potential diagnosis and horrific parents. There were some moments when I almost felt some empathy or sympathy toward Jonny but without fail, he did something that made me angry, upset, offended and/or horrified.


Posted Sep. 03, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 297

RE: How do you feel about Jonny ...

I liked Jonny as a linking figure. I did not, however, find him very likeable. His total life was based what he wanted. I certainly agree with Melissa.


Posted Sep. 04, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckyd

Join Date: 07/31/19

Posts: 56

RE: How do you feel about Jonny ...

I too, did not see him as a sympathetic character. True, his being on the spectrum was through no fault of his own. It did keep him insanely focused and determined to always work towards what he wanted.
His being a linking figure enabled the author to weave more characters into the story.Since they were all 3 immigrants from different backgrounds,the topic of isolation and loneliness could be studied from different vantage points.


Posted Sep. 04, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Cynthia

Join Date: 06/07/17

Posts: 55

RE: How do you feel about Jonny ...

I very much enjoy books that weave a link between characters and the author did a good job of that. What struck me was how differently Jonny treated and/or used the women -- his range of behavior in interacting with them. He was dismissive of Muna, almost offended at the audacity of her mere presence in his office; he was exhaustively obsessive, possessive and "loving" of Brittany, and considered Kemi simply as a means to solve a problem. He respected her reputation as a professional, but she was merely a corporate acquisition.

I agree with the others. I didn't find him sympathetic at any point in the story.


Posted Sep. 04, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RebeccaF

Join Date: 08/24/14

Posts: 45

RE: How do you feel about Jonny ...

I was unsure about the three characters being linked by Jonny. It seemed unfortunate that a white man had to play that role, and yet maybe the author was making the comment that, because white men still hold the power, he was the ultimate driver of the book's action.


Posted Sep. 04, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
linz

Join Date: 08/12/15

Posts: 89

RE: How do you feel about Jonny ...

Well, I did not think Jonny was a "nice" person. He was coddled and protected and never learned how to treat anyone else as a person or equal. It was interesting to see him as a link, but he treated them all disrespectfully, in their own roles in his life. He was not taught how to be with other people. He was a person his family protected at all costs since they had the means to do that for him. That they would put him in charge of their company and fortune show how willing they were to go to protect their image. I also agree with RebeccaF that it was unfortunate that a white man could lord it over each of them... But maybe that's a message from the author!


Posted Sep. 05, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janines

Join Date: 11/21/16

Posts: 46

RE: How do you feel about Jonny ...

Jonny is an interesting character. I didn't particularly like him even after I figured out he was autistic, but by choosing to have the story interconnect through him, I think the author reinforced how interconnected all our lives really are. I think the author could write another book just about him because his disability plays profoundly into the theme of how differences such as those of co!or or disability can determine a lot of how society will place people, offer people choices or acceptance, etc.


Posted Sep. 05, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 220

RE: How do you feel about Jonny ...

Not sure. I see Jonny as being a victim due to his personality and functional issues as well as the three Black women but on the other hand he has a lot of enablers in his life since money brings that privilege.


Posted Sep. 06, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 324

RE: How do you feel about Jonny ...

Without Jonny there would not be a story but I did not like him especially when the truth became known as why he was so attracted to Brittany. To me not a sympathetic character but a truly frightening character.


Posted Sep. 06, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beverlyj

Join Date: 12/22/11

Posts: 118

RE: How do you feel about Jonny ...

For most of the book I wondered why no one, especially Brittany did not bring up the issue with Jonny that he was on the spectrum or that there was something different about him that seems could benefit from a diagnosis/treatment or at the very least an explanation to the person he was going to be married.

So, basically I saw him through that lens.

I did think that Jonny because of his company, family, etc. made him an interesting way to present the stories of three different Black women from different backgrounds, classes and their experience in Sweden.


Posted Sep. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lesleyf

Join Date: 05/14/11

Posts: 103

RE: How do you feel about Jonny ...

So, in spite of mental difficulties, a white man has all the power. The fact that he is "sometimes" functional makes it worse for everyone, I think. But certainly adds to his unending power! I think there is a loud message there! There is another message re his wealth and power in the way he sees the three women - which echoes his society.


Posted Sep. 10, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janicea

Join Date: 04/20/17

Posts: 30

Jonny

I thought that Jonny was overused as a character. Yes, he was a link between the three women, yet he never realized that link due to his selfishness. His interest in each was based on the value each contributed to his life. Brittany-Rae was placed on a pedestal she did not want to be on and was to be the most visible and appreciated. Kemi was initially very visible until she went against Jonny’s plan that she be the silent minority member of his management team, at which time she became invisible. Muna was almost invisible to Jonny as she was in the lowest socio-economic class and Jonny did not see her value. Jonny’s backstory and diagnosis clearly contributed to his treatment of these women. It seemed that Jonny was front and center throughout the book to reinforce Black women’s invisibility who are only seen because of their skin color.


Posted Sep. 21, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Jessica F

Join Date: 05/23/20

Posts: 96

RE: How do you feel about Jonny ...

It made sense to include Jonny as the linking figure. We needed to see how they connected.
Despite his potential diagnosis, he was a spoiled brat. Disliked his character.


Posted Sep. 25, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gaylamath

Join Date: 02/11/20

Posts: 31

RE: How do you feel about Jonny ...

I think the character of Jonny was essential in this book, but that doesn't mean that he was likable.


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