How does Dillon react when he finds out the truth about Jen and TB in Chinese Handcuffs?Pages 167-296

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Dillon first finds out the truth about Jen and TB, he does absolutely nothing, because Jen has made him promise that he will listen but not react. TB is a knowledgeable lawyer, and Jen is terrified that if he finds out she has told anyone that he is molesting her, he will get back at her by hurting someone in her family. Out of respect for Jen's wishes, Dillon tries to remain silent, but he cannot get his friend's horrendous situation out of his mind. He finally decides to seek the advice of Dr. Newcomb, "a guy in (the) psychology department who's supposed to be one of the leading authorities in the Northwest on child abuse and particularly on sexual victims and offenders" at nearby St. Mary's College. Dr. Newcomb concurs that it will be close to impossible to stop TB through ordinary legal channels, but tells Dillon that if he can get Jen to come talk to him, he will try to go after TB himself.

Dillon is in fact able to convince Jen to talk to Dr. Newcomb, but before anything can be set in motion, things come to a crisis. At the news of her mother's pregnancy, Jen suffers a breakdown and tries to kill herself. Desperate to help her, Dillon actually considers taking matters into his own hands and shooting TB with the gun his brother Preston used to kill himself, but fortunately, he consults his father about his plan; his father talks him out of his rash idea, ironically appealing to his sense of revenge.

Dillon's final option is born of desperation. Without Jen's knowledge, he sneaks into her room and installs a hidden camera. The next time TB molests her, it is caught on tape, and Dillon, after making copies of the incriminating evidence and distributing it to trusted individuals, confronts TB, and threatens that if TB does not disappear from the lives of Jen and her family completely, the tapes will be leaked to the media. Dillon's act of blackmail works in getting rid of TB, although in the process, he essentially loses any chance that he and Jen will ever be able to have a romantic relationship themselves, especially now that he has seen the tape. With Dillon's support, however, Jen does find the courage to expose her stepfather, so that no other family will have to suffer because of his manipulations and perversion.

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Chinese Handcuffs

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