In Pigs in Heaven, how does Jax compare to Kevin?

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jax and Kevin are both love interests for Taylor as she struggles with her feelings. Jax has been Taylor's boyfriend for many years, but she has trouble committing; he is very empathetic and supports her decisions. However, his devotion to her is somehow off-putting, and she is a little uncomfortable with him, as if she feels trapped by his affection. He is quiet and very intelligent. In the end, while he refuses to blame Taylor for leaving him, he is still overcome with emotion, and misses her desperately.

Jax is a problem in Taylor's life... so laid-back it took Taylor months to figure out... that he's crazy in love with her. Possibly that's the problem.

[...]

Kevin... has been ignoring Turtle. [...] He should have gone out with Barbie, Taylor thinks. The two of them could jabber at each other all day without ever risking human conversation.
(Kingsolver, Pigs in Heaven, Google Books)

Kevin, by contrast, is a computer geek who Taylor works with briefly. He is self-absorbed and vain, and Taylor goes out with him once just so he'll leave her alone. She finds him insufferable and cannot relate to him; he is full of trivia but offers very little intellectual stimulation, and he does not get along with Turtle, which upsets Taylor as she is devoted to her adopted daughter. Kevin has no resolution, being a minor character, and is seen by his actions and his manner as being unworthy of Taylor's attention.

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Pigs in Heaven

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