IMAGINE A PARADISE GONE WRONG
by Amy L. Benevento
• • • • • • •
THE PEOPLE ON JACKEL ISLAND,
AND WHAT THEY REPRESENT
Horse Trainer. Equestrian Dept., Assistant. From Maine. Age 22.
This story is told through the eyes of Jamie, who represents the common person, an average citizen who holds no authority.
Head of Administration. "Island Leader." Tom's father is CEO of Jao Institute. Age 34.
Tom represents democracy and leadership. Tom is young, headstrong, but fair and good. Tom is respected, but when things go wrong on the island, Tom sometimes shows weakness and can doubt himeslf, as democracy is often frail in a new or struggling society. This brings forth the question of whether or not a society can survive under democracy when things go wrong, and when human greed and deceit take over.
Chief of Security. Late 40's.
Adrian represents protection and strength, as seen in any society's military. Near the end of our story, Adrian almost looses himself as he falls towards savagery.
EVAN BRONTE, Ph.D.
Head of Research. World known in the science world. Ph.D. in neurophysiology with distinction, and a second Ph.D. in biochemistry. M.D. in psychiatry. Bronte is an internationally renowned researcher who has gained worldwide acclaim with his numerous publications and with his study of human brain cells and human consciousness. Bronte’s works shows extensive study in protein cytoskeletal structures and microtubules that organize interiors of the brain’s neurons and other cells. His texts have sold over one million copies internationally in 12 languages.
In 1988, Bronte served in the United States Air Force with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), the largest and most diverse biomedical research laboratory in the Department of Defense. Specializing in the Department of Biologics Research, Bronte worked with other researchers to develop vaccines for mission-related disease threats. Bronte’s work in the Pilot Bio-production Facility's (PBF) provided research, development, production, and testing of vaccines for human use. Vaccines that were produced protected soldiers against diseases they could have encountered in areas of deployment. In his last four years of military service, Bronte served as an Air Force psychiatrist, becoming top advisor in the U.S. Mental Health Advisory Team. Bronte’s research, which has been performed in collaboration with the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry, has focused not only on specific disorders, but also on various activation studies designed to explore how brain function is associated with various mental states.
Bronte is presently conducting research for Bio-CMAT, a two-year research project for Jao Institute, a multi-billion dollar firm based out of New Jersey. Bio-CMAT pursues new techniques in the prediction of chaotic biochemical changes, with applications to cell biology and micro-organisms.
Evan Bronte represents the intellectual class. Those who are at the top of the intellectual pyramid are often separated from society, being mocked as “geeks” when they are children. As high-achieving adults, they are considered a deviant from the norm, despite the fact that they are sometimes envied and even held in awe.
The doctor (Jim) represents understanding. Like Brian, he shows deep compassion. The doctor is the person who everyone on the island turns to when they are in trouble. Jamie sees Jim as the father she's never had. Recognizing that this is a large need with Jamie and her void, Jim plays that role. Age 56.
Head of Maintenance.
Kane gives the story its spiritual and mystical slant. Jackel Island is told in a realistic tone and can indeed be very true. In our American society, we are overfed that which is tangible and material, but are starved for spirituality. Kane represents the eye of wisdom beyond that which can be scientifically claimed. Dr. Bronte, a man of science and a near-genius IQ, claims not to understand Kane.
Administrative Dept., working directly under Tom. Age 32.
Darcy represents fire (fire element). Often depicted in red, Darcy if ferocious, feisty, and takes no garbage from anyone. In society, women are often “stepped on,”, but Darcy, full of spit and vinegar, rises above this. She loves Tom, Jamie, Derek, Jim, Brian, and the others with a passion. Just don’t mess with this woman!
Assistant Cook. Age 25.
Brian represents kindness and compassion. While Brian is insecure and highly sensitive, his heart is huge. The two most compassionate people on the island are the doctor and Brian. However, while the doctor is confident and well accepted in society, Brian is self-doubting, overweight, and confused about his sexuality. Sadly, some view compassion as a weakness. At 25 and a mere Assistant Cook, Brian has not yet discovered who he is.
Assistant in the Maintenance Dept., working under Kane. Age 20.
Jeremy represents society's youth; he is what his leaders make him. When accepted by the otherss, he is quite lovable. Jeremy brings music to the island. But when his leaders don't accept him or ignore him, he heads towards darkness. When Jeremy asks for a rifle to help protect the group, the security team tells him to stay with the women. Jeremy is a boy who is trying desperately to be a man, but never quite makes it.
The music that Jeremy plays represents peace and harmony. When their small community starts to crumble, Jeremy can no longer play his flute.
Joel's son. Half American, half Asian. Age 9.
Derek represents innocence. An unusually bright child, Derek does not understand what is happening around him when some of the people on the island turn savage. All he knows is that he looks to the others for protection and love. What happens with Derek at the end of the story is a statement about how society’s mistrust, blame, and betrayal can leave its mark on the innocent.
Security team, working under Adrian. Age 36.
Grady represents the misunderstood. He is also quite the joker and brings comic relief to our story. A womanizer and a prankster, Darcy frequently cuts him down a notch, while the others don’t take him too seriously at times. But Grady takes his job with the security team very seriously and proves to be self-sacrificing, and he is furiously loyal to Adrian.
Head Horse Trainer. Equestrian Dept. Age 52.
Earl represents the earth (earth element), the heart of America, the “good ol’ boy” mentality of one of the last American cowboy. Earl is a man of the soil.
Head of the computer department. Voted "Most Knowledgeable in the Computer Field" in 2010 by American Business World. Tom's twin brother. Son of the CEO at Jao Institute. Age 34.
Joel represents the unspoken. The best in his field at fixing computers, Joel was selected out of thousands of candidates for his highly advanced electronic skills. Joel lives in this world of science and shields himself from any social life. Choosing solitude, Joel works by himself and doesn't join the others during the nightly campfires. While his twin brother is outgoing, athletic, and full of fire, Joel is introverted, a man of the mind, and full of silence. He does not know how to speak to his young son, Derek, though he deeply loves him. In the end, Joel is driven to desperation from his world of silence.
Security team, working under Adrian. Age 39.
Head cook. Age 64.
Tariq comes across as gruff and biting, but actually finds solace in giving comfort to others. He represents the duality of a person, someone who is not as they seem (and this is a common theme in Jackel Island). As Head Cook, he’ll yell if anyone is late for dinner, but makes sure that Jamie takes a sandwich when she rides out with her horse to the other side of the island.
SHEILA, ALICE, & BRITTANY
Alice & Brittany-Nurse.
Sheila and the two nurses, Alice and Brittany, represent society’s alienated, the group of people who ban together and never choose to fit in with the norm. We see this sometimes in a race, or a club, or even a clique. These three are mostly seen separate and apart from the others. Darcy refers to them as “Sheila and Company.” Jamie even forgets their names near the end of the story.
Research Team. Bronte's right hand man. Age 56.
Philip represents friendship.
Research Team. Science wiz. Geek. Age 33.
Marvin is too intelligent for his own good, but is socially clueless. He sometimes trips over his own feet. However, we see two polar sides of a person: extreme intelligence and extreme awkwardness.
Research Team. Physician Assistant. Age 44.
Pauline represents nurturing.
Research Team. Research Assistant. Age 28.
Sandra represents kindness.
MR. HYDE & MR. EDWARDS
Mr. Hyde and Mr. Edwards are simply mindless thugs. They are very minor characters, but there’s a play on “Jekyll and Hyde”, a parallel theme inside Jackel Island.
Jamie’s dog. Henry represents unconditional love.
illustrations by the author