Elison's Tone

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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1290

Harlan Ellison, in his introduction to his collection of short stories Shatterday , states that his writing is all about telling people that they are not alone in their suffering of the ‘‘mortal dreads’’ of living on this earth. ‘‘That’s my job,’’ he writes. ‘‘To stir the soup, to bite...

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Harlan Ellison, in his introduction to his collection of short stories Shatterday, states that his writing is all about telling people that they are not alone in their suffering of the ‘‘mortal dreads’’ of living on this earth. ‘‘That’s my job,’’ he writes. ‘‘To stir the soup, to bite your thigh, to get you angry so you keep the conversation going. . . . Then I can translate it into the mortal dreads we all share and fire them back at you transmogrified, reshaped as amusing or frightening fables.’’ Ellison has a vision, and he wants to share that vision as passionately as a revivalist preacher wants to share his vision of salvation. And because of this, Ellison’s writing takes on a didactic tone. He believes that his vision is true. And if it is true for Ellison, it is true for everyone, because he believes that ‘‘we are all the same, all in this fragile skin, suffering the ugliness of simply being human, all prey to the same mortal dreads.’’ And his job is to make sure that everyone gets his message.

In his story ‘‘Jeffty Is Five,’’ Ellison’s vision spotlights the message that the people of this world should not eradicate the past in the name of progress. Ellison wants to hold onto the past to such an extent that he creates a child who will not age. In order to convince his readers that there is a good reason to prevent the aging of this child, Ellison makes lists of all the good things from his past. Once he lists the good things, he then contrasts them with the things of the present, which are all cast in the shadows of the glorious past. Candy tasted better in the past. Not only did it taste better, it was wrapped in better paper. And not only did it taste better and was wrapped better, it cost less and was bigger in size. Candy of the present is worse than tasteless. It has also been deceptively shrunk in size and is soggy in the middle. Lest the reader not get his message, Ellison adds that it is ‘‘not worth a penny much less fifteen or twenty cents.’’

It is this overindulgent, hit-them-on-the-head type of writing that brings out the negative aspects that the term didactic sometimes implies. In Ellison’s story, for example, the past is good. The present, at best, is questionably passable. And Ellison keeps repeating this same message.

Ellison continues in his story with his narrator reminiscing about when he was a child. The radio programs were ‘‘swell’’ (he later compares them to the present status of radio, being filled with loud, awful music and ‘‘banal housewives and insipid truckers discussing their kinky sex lives with arrogant talk show hosts’’). His simple box of sixteen crayons is so much better than the complex color schemes that children of today have to deal with. This sounds like a bit of contradiction, doesn’t it? Whereas more chocolate is better on one hand, on the other hand, it is better if there are fewer crayons. In other words, whatever was in the past is better, whether it was less or more. For Ellison, it seems that just the fact that it is something that no longer exists makes it better. Ellison appears to go out of his way to make this point. Surely there were things about the old radio programs, for instance, that were not very attractive. They were heavily commercialized, for one thing, with the commercials being cleverly interwoven into the script so that it was hard for a child to know when the programming stopped and the commercials began. And to make the comparison fair, shouldn’t it be added that there is more to radio in the present than just loud music and discussions about sex? But Ellison makes no mention of this.

Ellison also discusses the old cowboy movies. He seems to revere stars like Roy Rogers, Lash LaRue, and Red Ryder. What he does not mention, however, is the fact that the cowboys were always seen as the heroes of these movies. The Native Americans, on the other hand, were typically shown as savages. They were usually the most aggressive of the two groups, were typically less intelligent, and typically in the wrong. Also, good cowboys almost always wore white. And bad cowboys wore black. The question that sociologists might ask today is: What kind of message did that send to African-American or other dark-skinned children? But of course, African-American children, in those times in the past, probably weren’t even allowed in the movie theater. But, again, Ellison makes no mention of this.

And the lists go on. Grandmothers’ kitchens don’t smell like oilcloth. Restaurants don’t serve real cream with their coffee. Every town has fastfood restaurants, and cars can be dented with a sneaker. But grandmothers live longer now. And they have the right to vote, too. And it kind of depends on which restaurant people want to eat at; many restaurants still serve cream and better tasting, organic coffee that was not grown on plantations that used slave labor. As for the cars, he might have a point, but because of the lightweight metal that they use, at least the newer cars get better gas mileage.

Ellison makes big mention of Captain Midnight and all the decoding gadgets and badges that went along with that radio program. When the Captain Midnight program was first broadcast, it was sponsored by an oil company. In order for the children, who listened to the program, to receive special gadgets like membership cards, medals, and magic weather forecasting widgets, their parents had to go to a specific gas station and pick up special premiums. While there, of course, it was convenient for them to fill up their tanks with gas. Ovaltine (a company that produced a chocolate drink) took over the sponsorship of the program later, and this was the time when all the decoder badges and rings were produced. And each year after, the decoders were upgraded to better styles and all new manuals, which children were coerced into buying. In order to receive this gadgetry, kids had to coax their parents to buy Ovaltine, because each purchase required two inner seals from its jars. From this example, readers can see that commercialization remains the same. These same kinds of commercial ploys are going on today. So what is Ellison complaining about?

Time implies change. Some of the changes are good. Some of the losses are sad. But when Ellison writes with a closed mind about those changes, his message, even if it makes sense in part, gets buried under his preachy overtones. His overly didactic tone makes him sound like he’s trying to convince his audience that he knows more than they know. If he were a little subtler and allowed his story to deliver the message instead of inserting such a strong and prejudiced narrative voice, his stories might be both a little more entertaining and a little more enlightening. But in the typical Ellison style, he ends ‘‘Jeffty Is Five’’ with an overly pathetic voice. Progress is all right, isn’t it, Ellison’s narrator asks. ‘‘People don’t die from old diseases any more. They die from new ones, but that’s Progress, isn’t it? Isn’t it? Tell me. Somebody please tell me.’’ These sentiments are typical of the tone throughout this story, and they might make some readers want to tell Ellison the same thing that someone should have told his character Jeffty: Grow up.

Source: Joyce Hart, Critical Essay on ‘‘Jeffty Is Five,’’ in Short Stories for Students, The Gale Group, 2001.

Love, Family and the Power of Fantasy

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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1608

‘‘Jeffty has become an image of reverence for the parts of my childhood that were joyous and free of pain,’’ Harlan Ellison writes in the introduction to his story ‘‘Jeffty Is Five’’ as it appears in the 1980 collection Shatterday. The author’s comment is hard to reconcile with the events of the story’s plot, in which a perpetual five-year-old lets an adult friend into his world of timeless wonder, only to be betrayed, beaten by strangers, and left to die if not outright killed by his own mother. Jeffty’s parents don’t love him and he is shunned by other children his own age because of his strange affliction—he never gets any older. Jeffty is profoundly isolated from other people and alienated from the culture in which those around him live. This does not sound like a life that is joyous and free of pain.

What, then, can Ellison mean by his comment? ‘‘I suppose what I’m saying is that a large part of myself as an adult is Jeffty,’’ Ellison continues in his introductory comments, ‘‘They are parts of my nature I hold very dear. But, sadly, Donny is also a part of me. The part of me that grew up in order to deal with the Real World.’’ In the story Jeffty and Donny, each in his own way, inhabits a childhood fantasy world. Jeffty is submerged completely in this world. In fact, rather than functioning as a threedimensional character in the story, one with emotional depth and complex motives, Jeffty is instead a symbol of Ellison’s ideas about fantasy.

Donny is somewhat more fleshed out as a character, but Ellison treats him, too, primarily as the symbol of an idea. Like the author himself, Donny lives life divided between a fantasy world of childhood (one that most adults, in Ellison’s view, leave behind completely) and the demands of adulthood’s realities. Stories where the characters and events represent abstract ideas in this way are known as allegories. ‘‘Jeffty Is Five’’ is an allegory about the power of childlike fantasy as it was manifested by a certain moment in American popular culture. For Ellison, Jeffty represents the purity and power of imagination in a world dominated by adults who do not appreciate it.

Thus the joy Ellison refers to exists through Jeffty’s complete submersion in fantasy. He lives through fantasy, fueled by an obsolete popular culture, to such a degree that he is largely oblivious to the people around him and to the contemporary culture that Ellison believes reflects their impoverished imaginations. Because Jeffty is oblivious to reality (or, in Ellison’s somewhat derogatory terms, to the ‘‘Real World’’) he is impervious to it. Thus the child comes across with a strange combination of vulnerability and invulnerability.

Ellison describes how Jeffty responds to the depressing and hostile atmosphere of his home and to his parents’ lack of affection for him: ‘‘He never remarked in any way. He played, as a child plays, and seemed happy. But he must of [sic] sensed, in the way of a five-year-old, just how alien he was in their presence. . . . Alien. No, that wasn’t right. He was too human, if anything.’’ Jeffty is ‘‘too human’’ in his openness and innocence, yet he is happy without his parents’ love. This hardly makes for a believable representation of a five-year-old child.

As a fantasy writer, of course, Ellison is not interested in what is believable. What Ellison tries to evoke through his representation of Jeffty is not a realistic child, but a fantasy of childishness. Jeffty represents certain qualities of the mind at age five, before imagination is squelched, a ‘‘special time before they take the questing, unquenchable, quixotic soul of the young dreamer and thrust it into dreary schoolroom boxes.’’

Ellison describes five, the age at which Jeffty is arrested, as ‘‘a wonderful time of life for a little kid . . . or it can be, if the child is relatively free from the monstrous beastliness other children indulge in.’’ Though the story purports to be about the friendship between Jeffty and Donny, its underlying message is that happiness is being alone. It is in the solitude of his room or his secret place under the porch that Jeffty can ‘‘tune in’’ to his wondrous world of fantasy. What is special about Jeffty is that he is free from any relationship, any tie to the network of family, community, or culture as they exist in the ‘‘Real’’—that is, changing, compromised, and emotionally messy—world. The purity of his imagination is proportional to the degree of his isolation. He seems alien not only because of the uncanny fact that he is perpetually five years old, but because he is so radically alienated. He is ‘‘free of pain’’ because he is untouched by the people around him. In the absence of familial love, Jeffty thrives perfectly well on the emotional sustenance of radio serials and comic books.

Donny does not embody such a fantastic ideal. For Donny—the stand-in for Ellison—the golden age of five is the time before fantasy and reality are split, the time before the consciousness of loss, the time before disappointment and distrust begin to inhibit pure joy. Donny appreciates Jeffty’s purity to such a degree that he gains entry into his timeless fantasy, but he is not pure—he also inhabits the temporal world of change. Donny grows up, gets beyond age five, and he does not, like Jeffty, remain unscathed by the breaking of family bonds. Not coincidentally, the very age of five is when Donny began to lose his own innocence. ‘‘When I was that age, five years old, I was sent away to my Aunt Patricia’s home in Buffalo, New York, for two years. My father was going through ‘bad times’.’’

It is notable that Donny does not even mention his mother in this autobiographical synopsis. If Jeffty appears impervious to being denied maternal love, Donny registers the trauma of being sent away by his parents for two years by failing to mention his mother. When he returns at age seven to a home that he can no longer innocently take for granted he finds comfort by submerging himself in radio dramas. This obsolete cultural form makes Donny feel less abandoned—it in some way fills in for what he has lost. Through these shows, his childhood fantasy of wholeness is reborn, but reality encroaches and he is aware that it is only a fantasy.

Ellison marks the next episode in Donny’s brief life history with another familial loss. ‘‘When I was ten, my grandfather died of old age and I was ‘a troublesome kid,’ and they sent me of to military school so I could be ‘taken in hand.’’’ Though Ellison doesn’t explain how his grandfather’s death relates to Donny’s behavior problems, the connection is implicit through the grammar of the sentence. Experiencing loss of a family bond leads to loss of innocence, which leads to trouble for Donny and rejection by his parents. He is again sent away. While the adult, parental solution to Donny’s trouble is discipline—the doubtlessly ‘‘dreary schoolroom boxes’’ of military school—Donny’s own solution is again to retreat into fantasy. When he comes home, he goes to movies—the innocent kind they made in the good old days. These movies, like Jeffty, remind him of his own innocence, before anyone died, before his family ever broke apart or sent him away.

While many authors either embrace or disparage popular culture, Ellison displays ambivalence toward the role of such mass media in the kind of pure imagination that Jeffty represents. On the one hand, Ellison posits the popular culture of the 1940s and 1950s as not only joyful but also nurturing. As far as he is concerned, radio, comic books, and movies from this era are a suitable substitute for love and friendship. The old-style movie house that Donny and Jeffty attend to see continually new ‘‘good old’’ movies is called the Utopia (a word meaning ‘‘perfect place,’’ derived from roots meaning ‘‘no place’’).

On the other hand, the popular culture of the author’s present—Clint Eastwood, rock music, and the domination of television—is crass and commercial, with none of the earlier era’s power to sooth and satisfy. Not only does it fail to live up to the earlier era’s charms, but Ellison represents it as actively destructive. It is the wall of thirty-three televisions that blare as Donny is sucked into the ‘‘Real World’’ prospect of selling and breaks his promise to Jeffty that allows the present to ‘‘kill the past.’’ The vulgar present represented by television is also connected to Donny’s own fall from innocence through the figure of Aunt Patricia, the wealthy relative who takes him in when his parents first send him away. It is she who lends him money to get started with his Sony television franchise, leading Donny into his role as a smarmy salesman, stressedout boss, and pragmatic capitalist.

Jeffty is a fantasy—a child who is impervious to being unloved. Donny reflects the emotional reality that rejection and alienation hurt. While everyone else is spooked by Jeffty, he appeals to Donny because he can do what Donny tries and fails—he makes himself feel better by listening to radio shows; he inhabits a world of truly satisfying Clark Bars; he recaptures a sense of absolute wholeness that can only ever be a fantasy.

Source: Sarah Madsen Hardy, Critical Essay on ‘‘Jeffty is Five,’’ in Short Stories for Students, The Gale Group, 2001.

Progress and Conformity

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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 2185

In Ovid’s Metamorphosis, Aeneas encounters a decrepit Sibyl, or soothsayer, in Cumae who had once pointed to a mound of sand and wished for her life to be as long in years as the number of grains of sand in the pile. Apollo, trying to seduce her by granting her wishes, but unable to forgo the duplicity of his immortal kind, did not reveal her wish’s fatal flaw: she had wished for eternal life, but not eternal youth. By the time she meets Aeneas, she has accepted that instead of prolonging her enviable beauty, she has unwittingly chosen for herself a protracted and painful senescence (the state of becoming old). As an old crone, she is no threat to the vain Olympians and becomes instead a cautionary tale on the folly of attempting to outwit the deceitful immortals. Her fate cautions other mortals about the risks of attempting to defy the progress and cycle of human life. In ‘‘Jeffty Is Five,’’ Ellison recounts a similar cautionary tale, one which condemns both mortality and immortality and romantic notions of the past and vapid participation in the present. Through the story of never-aging Jeffty and neverthoughtful Donny, Ellison demonstrates the impossibility of revivifying and enjoying the past while committing to the inexorable movement of the present.

Time exists in two paradigms in the story: linear ‘‘common time’’ and Great Time. The reader is asked to suspend logic in order to accept the ‘‘magic realism’’ of Ellison’s narrative, a reality in which a parallel universe such as Jeffty’s could exist, uninterrupted by the forces which change the known, linearly progressing universe. In A Connecticut Yankee in the Twentieth Century: Travels to the Past in Science Fiction, Bud Foote explains the notion of Great Time, a native Australian concept of time as a ‘‘still pool rather than a running river’’ when ‘‘things do not happen one-thing-afterthe- other as they do in common time, but all things happen at once.’’ Donny himself soon abandons his attempts to explain Jeffty’s arrested development and simply decides to enjoy it.

Donny’s world is agreeable but lacking in the authentic, layered joy he vividly remembers being an integral part of childhood. Donny’s own youth had been interrupted soon enough by separation from his family, his father’s financial troubles, the death of his grandfather, and his own turn as a ‘‘troublesome child,’’ ending in his tenure at military school. As an adult, Donny resides in common time, and complies with the rituals of aging; he opens a store, dates women, and plays poker with friends. Simultaneously, in Jeffty’s house, time is arrested in Jeffty’s fifth year of life, but proceeds in a parallel universe, with new episodes of radio shows and commercials for updated products. Jeffty maintains authentic, unadulterated childhood joy, and Foote explains that for Donny, ‘‘as Eden disappears from the historical past, and the millennium (and Heaven) from the future, then travel to the past appears to fill the psychic void.’’ Donny’s willingness to suspend logic and join Jeffty’s world is not only understandable but tragic.

Ellison’s present is a frustrated one, not for lack of economic prosperity, security, and entertainment, but because it does not possess the soul and intrigue, the sheer ingenuous innocence and joy of any five-year-old’s world. Donny’s present is complacent and conformist, not apocalyptic, but insubstantial and spiritually shallow. The joys are not singular and individualized memorable experiences but manufactured and anonymous joys, and Donny clearly prefers the unadulterated joy of his time with Jeffty in the strange and magical world available only with his young friend, the embodiment of nostalgic impulse. Donny is so readily and utterly drawn into Jeffty’s world because, as Foote describes it, ‘‘In the presence of the everyday and often frustrating present, the laundered and edited past takes on an awesome power.’’ There is no moral anchor in Donny’s world; a child’s morality is structured and decisive although fragile. Donny’s world has no lasting relationships, no permanent and consistent integrity. Nothing goes horribly awry, but neither is there anything worth savoring or remembering. His adult friends are nameless and his dates faceless, his employees steal from him as a matter of course, and his customers bark orders at him as if he were just another employee and not President and owner of the store. Life as an adult seems easier because it is more disposable, and Donny negotiates the pros and cons of his present warily.

Jeffty has managed to preserve all the ephemeral qualities of childhood, the wonder, discovery, sense of treasure and newness. He continues to send in for 1950s promotional toys, maintains his ‘‘secret place,’’ and gamely asserts all other methods of making meaning and experiencing joy.

Jeffty’s universe is parallel to Donny’s, and its intersections with Donny’s present are not fatal as long as they are guided and negotiated by what his five-year old mind can comprehend and accept. Commercial breaks in Jeffty’s radio shows are for products current in Donny’s world; the style of the commercials are familiar to Jeffty, so the products can evolve, since material goods are interchangeable. The rules are tacit (implied) but firm; Donny can enter Jeffty’s world and move about it with artifacts and mannerisms familiar to Jeffty, but Jeffty cannot enter Donny’s world since it contains unfamiliar objects that will fatally disrupt his understanding of the universe. Donny can take Jeffty out for a movie at the aptly named Utopia theater, and cheeseburgers, but they cannot spend an evening watching television eating Taco Bell.

Indeed, it is his first encounter with television that unravels Jeffty. After seeing it, and not able to reconcile it with his five-year old’s understanding of the world, Jeffty goes into nervous shock. To reassure himself, he asks to borrow the radio of two boys in front of the Utopia and turns it to his station, playing a program that ‘‘didn’t exist for anyone but Jeffty.’’ The radio locks into place in Jeffty’s alternate universe, and the two boys beat Jeffty while ‘‘everyone watched.’’

Here the lesson of the Sibyl returns: Jeffty’s flouting of mortality in the face of condemned mortals could not be tolerated. The mortals in Donny’s world have recast their inevitable deaths as a critical piece in the juggernaut of progress through which they believe they achieve immortality. Jeffty’s enjoyment of the past defies not only their notions of progress but their notions of immortality by participating in ‘‘progress.’’ Ostensibly, the ‘‘everyone’’ who watched as Jeffty was beaten outside the Utopia theater witnesses and condones his punishment.

Jeffty is punished, essentially, for daring to defy mortality and for ignoring the spurious importance of progress. He is also punished for preserving and enjoying a time in everyone’s lives that they, as the passage of time required, had been forced to leave behind, moving forward into times of work, financial struggles, heartbreak, ambiguity, aging, and death. Jeffty’s immortality both insults and challenges the unquestioned merits of progress.

Jeffty, unlike the cursed Sibyl of Ovid’s Metamorphosis, has flouted the immortality trap; he remains young while time moves on, and remains in a time of pure unadulterated joy and wonder. But his brand of nostalgia is selfish, and his parents are held hostage by Jeffty’s refusal to surrender his childhood. Unfortunately, his parents must remain there with him, and their desire to move on, even into a present that is only different and not necessarily better, is the target of Ellison’s pity and contempt; Donny feels ‘‘sorry for the poor devils,’’ parents of a freakish child, but he also despises them for ‘‘their inability to love Jeffty, who was eminently loveable.’’

Jeffty’s parents live, depressed and stunted, trapped by a magical circumstance not of their choosing, and their misery is evident in the appearance of the living room which is, ironically, where they spend most of their waking, but not living, hours: the room was ‘‘always dark or darkening, as if kept in shadow to hold back what the light might reveal to the world outside through the bright eyes of the house.’’ When Leona, Jeffty’s mother, finally chooses to free herself from this circumstance, she must choose living in the present over being a mother, and she kills Jeffty with the very instrument through which childhood and immortality was funneled to him, and by extension, to Donny. Parental love, like childhood, appears to be finite and unable to withstand the pressures to conform and participate in progress.

Jeffty is blissfully oblivious of being different and freakish. His parents hesitate to articulate their judgments and resign themselves to a life of silent despair and seclusion. Jeffty is unaware that he will be labeled and then destroyed by a society that has defined utopia as any and all of its current circumstances. Hence he, with his actual immortality, is prevented from entering Utopia (theater), and is beaten outside of it. According to Thomas Dillingham in his article on Ellison in The Dictionary of Literary Biography, ‘‘the wish for immortality is the ultimate refusal of a label (human being/mortal being).’’ Jeffty escapes categorization as a mortal, but then dies at the hands of his moribund peers and parents.

Dillingham notes that Ellison sees modern society as ‘‘populated with fearful and quiescent blobs (consumers, television watchers) whose main function in the world is . . . to participate in the destruction of the few individuals who had achieved a sense of self.’’ Donny is not only a consumer of propaganda about progress, but also the proprietor of its vehicle, and he not only watches TVs but sells them. He helps to create the world of deluded mortal malcontents who eventually beat and then kill Jeffty. Jeffty and Donny had seen movies at Utopia before, watching ‘‘new’’ movies with 1950s actors; his beating there later implies that society will not stand for Jeffty defining what occurs in Utopia in his own terms, however innocuously, and he certainly will not enter it under that pretext.

Dillingham notes that ‘‘while individuality makes survival worth fighting for, it also makes the fight inevitable.’’ Jeffty does fight for his survival; after seeing and being shocked by television, Jeffty turns the boys’ radio to his station as a gesture of both reassurance and defiance of this other world which is now invading his known constructs. Like all children, when confronted by the shocking knowledge that his private world is alien and unacceptable to others, he turns to his familiar world, but it can no longer save him.

In his introduction to ‘‘Jeffty Is Five,’’ Ellison wanted to clarify the difference between the present changing the past and eradicating it. He chastises that ‘‘there are treasures of the Past that we seem too quickly brutally ready to dump down the incinerator of Progress.’’ It is not enough to leave Jeffty in his dark house with his depressed and resigned parents to continue his bizarre version of time; he must be annihilated to preserve the pretense that all others are made immortal by their participation and belief in the goodness and necessity of progress.

His mother, ultimately, chooses her role as a member of this society over her role as a mother, and kills him by electrocuting Jeffty in the bathtub with the radio, now blaring modern rock music. Despite living such quiet, uninterrupted lives, Leona bemoans that ‘‘there is not one day of peace,’’ indicating that her inability to participate and to believe, fully, in progress is a great disruption to her sense of self. Jeffty’s maintaining his sense of self has come at a great price to her, and she cannot tolerate its tragic, oppressive repercussions any longer. She wants the peace of conformity, of living a simple pretense, and of belonging to a group, however anonymous and misinformed.

After Jeffty’s death, Donny tries in vain to recapture those stations on a reconstituted Philco radio, but is unsuccessful. His lesson is that he cannot live in both worlds; his unwillingness to choose his present, the present of ‘‘progress’’ over that of Jeffty’s present, makes him a traitor to one world and an intruder in the other. Foote observed that ‘‘as belief in progress fades, the future is not only vast but distasteful; and the impulse to avoid it draws the unconsciousness to the past.’’ In the end, Donny had evolved from an agreeable but unspectacular participant in Progress, one whose principal complaint about modernity was the decline in the quality of Clark Bars and records, to a cynical observer who notes that Progress is really trading one set of problems for another. Ellison notes in his introduction that he is both Jeffty and Donny, a nod to having both flouted convention and followed it, and he admits that heroic resistance sometimes gives way to the twin pressures of necessity and denial.

Source: Lydia Kim, Critical Essay on ‘‘Jeffty is Five,’’ in Short Stories for Students, The Gale Group, 2001.

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