Analysis

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 208

In Jack of Newbery by Thomas Deloney, Jack is the personification of humanity's great virtues: honesty, hard work, and intelligence. Although he is naturally talented in whatever profession he embarks upon, he finds his calling as a clothier, and more generally as an entrepreneur. In this regard, Jack represents industriousness as a characteristic and industrialism as a progressive system of economy.

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However, despite being the personification or symbol of good virtues, Jack is also portrayed in a more human light. For instance, like many people, Jack has contradictory ideas and behaviors. When King Henry offers Jack knighthood after being impressed with Jack's textile shop, Jack declines the offer, stating that he would rather remain a clothier, a normal citizen.

This humility is in contradiction with Jack's insistence to his employees that they should strive for fame and high social standing. This shows that Jack holds materialism and social class mobility at a high regard, even while trying to maintain his humility.

In this vein, Jack represents the common man and the nobleman simultaneously. Jack is the type of person that working-class men might try to aspire to be like, and more importantly, he reminds them that accumulating various experiences whilst helping others will lead to a fulfilling life.

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