Johnny Bear Analysis

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Peter from “The Harness” and Miss Amy from “Johnny Bear” dream of casting off the responsibility of their communities’ expectations to live out their shadow of sex and freedom, but are shipwrecked by their partners who rely on their persona to create their own respected persona. Their communities’ expectations and the repression of their shadow has fashioned an expected, unwavering persona for Peter and Amy. This persona is believed to be a representation of their true selves and morals, thus the community has continued holding them to high standards without realizing that by projecting their expectations on a select few respected individuals, they are disillusioning these individuals from understanding their true selves: these expectations…show more content…
They live an incredibly private lifestyle from beyond the hedges that surround their estate: the only things we know about Amy are through the mouth of Johnny Bear and the community’s opinions. Miss Amy gained her status through reputation, not actions: “‘[…] they believe in things we hope are true. And they live as though—well, as though honesty really is the best policy and charity really is its own reward. We need them’” (Johnny Bear, 116). The expectations the Loma community holds the Hawkinses up to, being kind and pure continually, is unrealistic to expect of any human being. The sisters define one another, within their status, there is no room for mistakes; Miss Amy and Emalin are the community obsession, the “community conscience” (Johnny Bear, 116): the only clean thing in such a dark place. The Loma community needs the Hawkins sisters to look to as an example, to project their ideals onto so they do not need to focus on their own moral filth. Peter and Amy’s communities believe that the persona they see them fulfill is a true representation of themselves when it is merely a mirror image of the society’s projected needs and Peter and Amy’s repressed shadow. Their standing in society is so closely correlated to their partners’ identity that they feed off of their power and manipulate them to maintain their perceived persona and
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