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Jack Finney's Time and Again - Essay Example

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[Your full name] December 3, 2013 Novel Review In his novel, Time and Again, Jack Finney has beautifully juxtaposed two pictures of the New York City, one of present and the other of a hundred years back. Si, the protagonist has to go back to 1882 New York City to make some observations…
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Jack Finneys Time and Again
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Jack Finney's Time and Again

Download file to see previous pages... The novel itself contains pictures and drawings that show buildings and monuments of 1882 New York City, thus, making it an interesting read for the reader. This paper analyzes Finney’s description of life in past and present, with a personal reflection at the end. The novel portrays that life was much simpler in 1882 New York City. The reader comes to know that Si, through an arrangement of self-hypnosis and well managed environmental control, travels into the past. Everything seems so simple, but the events occurring are quite disturbing, with Pickering as the antagonist. The photographs and drawings of that era show that Si finds it very appealing as compared to the present era. According to Si, “The faces are different” (Finney). This is a statement that encompasses every change that the period between past and present has seen. Si observes a lot of farming on Manhattan. The Dakota and Museum of Natural History are standing alone without any hurly burly renovations. The arm of the Statue of Liberty is resting on itself in the Madison Square. Si is enchanted with the simplicity of the fashionable Ladies’ Mile of Broadway. He enjoys the jingling of the sleigh bells in Central Park. There are no vehicles, no automobiles, no planes, and no computers. The food is much better. Finney, through his character Si, shows much attraction toward the era of 1880s, when there was no hustle bustle of modern technologies and nuclear developments. Finney is not very glad with the anarchy of the 1960s, where he experiences that everything is falling apart. Si brings Julia to 1960s, where she is surprised to see how many changes time has brought to history and to the world. Si tells her how vulnerable everything has become, and there are many places where common law-abiding citizens cannot even dare to go. “A group of young Negroes was walking toward Lex, so I didn’t hang around to encounter them and explain how fond I’d always been of Martin Luther King” (Finney), which is the statement that portrays fear that inculcates itself into the hearts and minds of all common men. Si tells Julia about the anarchy and chaos that has changed time into a poisonous mayhem, where past seems like an alien phase. To Finney, 1880s era is very calm and soothing; and, through the character of Si, he assures that he would have very comfortably lived in that era where everyone had a special place in society, not like the complicate era of 1960s. However, there are some aspects of 1880s which Finney is not at all happy about. He thinks that that era was void of proper healthcare, as, for example, doctors did not have the concept of antibiotics. Smallpox was common. Poverty, corruption, and vicious brutality were there. Finney writes: On the streets of the eighties I saw human misery, as you see it today; and depravity, hopelessness, and greed; and in the faces of small boys on the streets I saw the premature hardness you see now in the faces of boys from Harlem. But there was also an excitement in the streets of New York in 1882 that is gone. These lines are a complete depiction of what Finney thinks is better about 1880s, and what he think is bad. I believe that Finney has very correctly portrayed the pictures of past and present in his novel. Time has changed, but has brought with it so much advancement that has benefitted the world in many ways. I believe that both the past and the present have their plus and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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