The Desire for More
In The Gold Coast by Kim Stanley Robinson we get to look at Jim Mcpherson as he tries to deal with what seems like the never ending cycle of getting spit out of the machine. It is because of this that he so reminds me of an angsty teen still in their high school career, still trying to figure out who he truly is and what he really wants. The first scene really brings this to life as it brings the friends together to go on a night of debauchery of drugs and mischief that ends with them running from the police (Robison 1).
This notion of high school revolt reminds me of how excited people were to receive a car and drivers license to escape from all the mundane of their lives, but this notion of freedom from the road isn’t present here. With the induction of tracks to the streets there is improved safety for the drivers but with these tracks come the feeling of no real choice and that your life is predetermined.
Jim’s rebellious side really comes out when working with Arthur as he tries to give some direction and a feeling of control in Jim’s life. Arthur explains that he’s “trying to make a difference in this world… A lot of talk about how ad things are, how we have to change things – but when it comes to a question of action, it turns out to be nothing but talk” (Robison 38). This ignites Jim’s fire that’s been waiting to spark as he’s been looking for a way to regain some feeling of control in what has become of his life. Hating both jobs he has and the disrespect that comes from his father about his shortcomings this provides a point to channel his aggression but he isn’t sure at first if he actually believes in the anti-government movement wholeheartedly or if he’s just going along with Arthur’s ideas.
Robinson, Kim Stanley. The Gold Coast. New York: ORB, 1995. Print.