The Community in Jim’s Life
Community is an interesting aspect in The Gold Coast by Kim Stanley Robinson. We talked about this in class for a little bit and it was something that interested me.
Community is an aspect that has been in a few of the books we’ve read (like Island by Aldous Huxley), but the community in this book feels different from Island’s. Jim’s community seems more like something that we would have today. For instance, I would definitely say that the community in my life is made up of my close friends and family. Like me, Jim’s community is a close group of friends that he spends the majority of his time with and he occasionally has dinner with his mother and father: “They sit down to dinner, Lucy says grace, they eat” (Robinson, 23).
The difference to me from Pala’s community is that Jim is able to choose who he spends his time with, whereas on Pala, while there was the same type of choice, they still live on the same island and it doesn’t seem like they would be able to get away from certain people unless they really wanted to.
An interesting aspect of Jim’s community is his allies, which is just another word for girlfriend or boyfriend “Virginia, Arthur Bastanchury’s ally until a couple months ago…” (Robinson 30). I’m not sure they are actually part of his community or if they just receive an honorary place among his friends and family while they’re seeing each other. In any case, they’re still an interesting aspect of Jim’s life.
For all of Jim’s faults, he does seem like he surrounds himself with some good people (Abe and Tashi to name a few), and I think it’s going to be these people that help Jim change eventually. Like what we talked about in class, the community (his friends and family) are a way for Jim to find meaning in his life.
I thought this song by the White Strips was somewhat fitting for my topic of the day.