Jenna Fox is a mentally unstable adolescent because, after waking up from a yearlong coma, she has no memory of her friends or family. She soon recognizes how her actions toward her parents, and grandmother, have different effects on their expressions and body language, but she still does not understand what she is supposed to be feeling. “I don’t remember my mother, my father, or Lily. I don’t remember that I once lived in Boston. I don’t remember the accident. I don’t remember Jenna Fox,” (Pearson, 7).
This excerpt from the novel explains that Jenna is lacking the knowledge of who she is. She doesn’t understand how she cannot remember the people that were closest to her. As the story progresses, Jenna wonders if she has ever had friends, “Did I have friends? … I may not remember everything, but I know there should be these things. Something. I know when someone is sick that people check on her. What kind of person was Jenna Fox that she didn’t have any friends? Was she someone I even want to remember? Everyone should have at least one friend,” (Pearson, 17).
Using the psychological lens, the quoted thought of Jenna Fox explains to the reader that she knows from her instinct that it is normal to have friends. She starts to question herself as an individual, creating an unstable self-esteem. Throughout the novel, Jenna starts to acquire a few friends, making her self-esteem and psychological state become more positive. The first person that Jenna meets, that isn’t a family member, is Mr. Bender. He acts as a type of guardian to Jenna when her father is in Boston for his occupation.
Like any kid growing up I had a best friend; as I grew up she was the big sister I never had and to this day nobody can compare to her in my eyes. As kids we always promised each other we’d never leave each others side; back then I never imagined one day Jenna, my best friend would be more than just a phone call away. As time has gone on Jenna without even knowing has taught me so many lessons ...
For example, he happens to help Jenna out in a particularly difficult situation with the neighbor boy, Dane, “Mr. Bender comes through the woods, making a show of his golf club, swinging it more than he is using it for balance on the hillside,” (Pearson, 217).
Psychologically this makes Jenna feel more secure and comfortable when she knows that Mr. Bender is in her company. Ethan is also another person that helps Jenna feel at ease. He becomes Jenna’s significant other and is also, ironically, the only person that Jenna, herself, shares information about her genetically engineered body with.
After sharing that information with him, he says to her, “”So I know what a monster is, Jenna, and it’s not me, and it’s not you,”” (Pearson, 165).
His words send a comforting message to Jenna, which helps her feel a bit more positive about herself. In addition to Ethan and Mr. Bender, Allys achieves a positive role in Jenna Fox’s mental-state. Allys is the first friend to actually express positive feelings toward Jenna, “…I just sit there with satisfaction wrapping around me. I like you. That’s what she said. I like you, Jenna,” (Pearson, 76).
The words that Jenna repeats to herself explain to the reader that she feels accepted socially into the world, even though (herself included) nobody except for her parents know what is truly different about her composition. Having friends plays a major role in the life of someone who is mentally unstable and has a negative view of their self. In the novel, when Jenna had times of struggle, she felt concealed away from her family because she couldn’t remember her relationships with them. From what she had watched on videotapes is the only remembrances she had, making the little pieces of family structure very important for her mentally.
When her relationships would build with them, she was careful to keep them strong. The person that Jenna went to hoping for advice and somebody to trust is her grandmother, Lily. For example, Jenna seeks answers, and she turns to Lily in her mental time of need, “”You’re the only one I can ask,” I add. “The only one I know who will tell me the truth,”” (Pearson, 148).
02-07-05 Coping with Death People cope with the loss of a loved one in many ways. For some, the experience may lead to personal growth, even though it is a difficult and trying time. There is no right way of coping with death. The way a person grieves depends on the personality of that person and the relationship with the person who has died. How a person copes with grief is affected by the person ...
From the quote, Jenna’s knowledge of the importance of her and Lily’s relationship is recognized, and linked to how Jenna feels about being treated fairly by being told the truth.
Accordingly, Jenna’s father works in Boston, but when complicated situations arise in her life, he makes the commute as quickly as he can back to their home in California. For example, Jenna confronts her mother about what she hasn’t been told, and her father comes home immediately, “A shadow of stubble is on his cheeks. His hair is uncombed. His eyes are hollow. He looks like he could have run here all the way from Boston,” (Pearson, 121).
From the description of her father, the reader can recognize that the bond between family members is strong, and without them, people wouldn’t have anyone to help them in mental hardships.
By reading Mary E. Pearson’s, The Adoration of Jenna Fox, using the psychological/psychoanalytical lens, the constant theme of family and friends being important in a person’s life, is recognized in a variety of different ways. When a person has nobody to turn to in a time of mental need, a part of that person’s identity becomes questionable. Family and friends provide a positive mental part of identity that is unique and extremely important to every human being.