Jake, Reinvented. Select Quotes English 11 - Devine. A closer look at:. Chapter 5. cool, mysterious, different.
English 11 - Devine
But I was disappointed to see an ordinary room, maybe a little on the cluttered side. I mean this was Jake Garrett, the guy who appeared out of nowhere and plastered his name onto the lips of every kid at Fitz. His parties were the talk of the school. Girls he’s never met stuck Post-it notes with their phone numbers on his locker, hoping to be invited to his next Friday night bash. Freshmen made themselves look important by being able to identify the Garrett BMW in the parking lot. College guys treated him as an equal. He was an absolute star, in his own way, every bit as big as Todd Buckley. After all, most schools had a big-man-on-campus quarterback. But Jake was something nobody had ever seen before or ever expected – cool, mysterious, different. (59)
What is it about Jake that makes him mysterious?
What is it about Jake that makes him different?
What is it about people that makes them want to be a part of that?
Why is Todd disappointed when he finally sees the inside of Jake’s room?
What does he actually see?
There were footsteps on the stairs. “Jeez, Jake, there are twenty green bags on our lawn. When’s the last time you put out the garbage?”
And suddenly, there he was, the old Jake. An excuse was required, and the world’s smoothest liar was rising to the occasion.
“Sorry, Dad. I’m doing a little house cleaning. A couple of guys are here helping me.” (60)
What’s it called when you put on a personality mask?
That was a pretty close call with your dad,” I said. “Guess you’d better take a few weeks off of parties.”
He looked surprised. “Wrong, baby. Friday night, same time, same station.” And as I walked away shaking my head, he called after me, “Bring Jennifer.” (64)
What quality (ies) is Jake showing here?
Why does he insist on Jennifer coming?
I followed him up the fist few steps. “Fresh blood is one thing,” I argued. “But these guys could trash your house and not even have to look you in the eye on Monday morning”
Talk to the wall. He was one-hundred percent gone from me. I followed his gaze and spotted Didi talking with some of the girls’ volleyball team.
Then she noticed him too. Their eyes locked, and I swear the lights dimmed for a moment from the power surge. They began to move toward each other. They were separated by thirty feet, tops. But a good four dozen revelers occupied the space between them. (pp. 105-6)
What imagery does Rick use to show the power of their meeting?
I don’t think Jake and Didi noticed. In their minds, they were the only two people in this jammed party house, and quite possibly the entire planet. Didi didn’t look to me like she was playing weekend golf. This was lawyering of the highest order, an appearance before the Supreme Court.
As I watched them come together, I had a sense of two soldiers crossing an active battlefield to meet in the middle. Dancers gyrated, drinks spilled, play-fighters traded shoves, heavy bass shook the air. And through it all, Jake and Didi found each other on a Friday night in late September.
What did Rick mean when he said “Didididn’t look to me like she was playing weekend golf. This was lawyering of the highest order”?
Think of another way to describe the same situation Rick does when he says “As I watched them come together, I had a sense of two soldiers crossing an active battlefield…”
They didn’t fall into a soulful B-movie embrace. In fact, they didn’t touch each other at all. But you’d have to be drunk, dense or totally self-absorbed not to notice the magnetism between them.
Todd was all three, but even he managed to figure it out. His face reddening, his scowl thundrous, he waded through the mass of humanity to confront the meeting at the bottom of the stairs.
He grabbed his girlfriend’s arm. “Let’s go, Didi. This party’s boring.”
What do you thing the effect of his pronouncement will be on this one?
Is something building here? Is there a turning point coming?
How do you know?
Coach Hammer was standing at the end of the tunnel. “Come one, you three. Move it!”
Nelson pounded onto the field.
Todd grabbed my arm and held me back.
“We’re on the same page, right? Not a word to anyone, ever!”
“Right,” I confirmed. It was true. I would never betray him.
What does Todd mean by “the same page”?
Why does Rick say he’ll never betray Todd?
On the first series of the game, they marched effortlessly down the field
and scored. It didn’t bother us very much – we were used to stinking. But
it practically killed Dipsy, who had established himself a few rows behind
the visitors’ bench. He had the section to himself and his popcorn and
chips, because most of our fans had given him a pretty wide berth. There
he sat, stuffing his face until it was time to cheer…Perhaps I forgot to
mention that in addition to a voice like a foghorn, Dipsy also had a mouth like
Which of the underlined passages:
___ Is a metaphor?
___ Is a simile?
___ Means a lot of room?
___ Is personification?
___ Is description/imagery
Just as Jake’s parties had acquired an unpleasant taste, the tone
at the school was beginning to turn ugly. The buzz was still all about Jake
– now that his long-snapping had lifted the pathetic Broncos to victory,
he was more famous than ever. But the speculation about him had become
suspicious, derisive. Jake had no longer dropped from heaven to
provide high-quality Friday-night entertainment; he was putting something
over on us, playing us. And the mysterious attributes that had proved so
irresistible before were more proof that the lowdown sneak was up to no good.
Which of the underlined passages:
___Means sad or unworthy?
___ Is a simile?
___ Means worthy of criticism?
___ Is personification?
___ Connects to a major theme?
“Trust me,” I assured him. “If Jake arrested every underage drinker he saw, this school would be empty. This is crazy, Phil.”
He looked at me resentfully. “That’s not what Todd said.”
I was instantly alert. “Todd Buckley?”
But who else could he be talking about? Actually, it made perfect sense. Our great and exalted quarterback had soured on Jake. Therefore it was only a matter of time before everyone else fell into line. I love high school. It’s a place for individuality to flourish.
What is the quality (or characteristic) Nick shows in this passage?
What is the CONTEXT of this passage?
But I could tell Jake was in his glory. He had Didi at
his side, seeing him treated like a big shot – at a
college campus no less. It was working, too. Her look
of rapturous admiration was too total to be faked. It
was eerily similar to the expression she wore when playing
her other Academy Award role of God’s girlfriend.
Which of the underlined passages:
___refers to Todd Buckley
___ refers to Didi’s hypocrisy
___ contains a simile
___ means full of joy
___ means in a strange way
I felt her fingers burrowing into my hair, pressing my lips against her skin too hard for bugling. “You’re crushing the trumpet of battle,” I said in a muffled voice.
That was when I noticed that Jennifer wasn’t laughing anymore, or squirming to avoid my weight. The realization was a jagged fork of lightening that stretched from my head to a lower, less public part of my anatomy. What was the deal here? Was this a joke?
“But it’s a lie!” I’d never seen our quarterback so outraged. “He put one over on every kid at Fitz, me included! I was as fooled as the rest of you guys!”
If I hadn’t been so agitated, I would have laughed right in his face. I mean, it was pretty much out in the open that his girlfriend had been cheating on him. And what did he choose to single out as the key injustice in the whole business? The fact that an outsider had broken the commandment against being as happening and popular as Todd Buckley.
“Don’t push me,” I warned. “If it comes down to you or Jake, I choose Jake. I’ll rat you out”
“He’s got you brainwashed! Just like Didi!”
“There’s brainwashing here, all right,” I shot back. “But it’s not coming from Jake. It’s coming from you. Everybody around here thinks you’re something more than a third-rate quarterback at a third-rate school. And you’re not! If I feed you to Nelson, the sun will still rise tomorrow.”
What role is Rick playing now?
“I’m not cancelling the party,” he said flatly. “I’ve come too far to turn back now.”
“But you’ve already got Didi,” I argued. “She’s the grand prize, right? If she really likes you, that isn’t going to change because you skipped one Friday night. And if all she cares about is your parties, who needs her, man?”
He hesitated. I realized that was the only way to get through to Jake. If you tried to reason with him it went in one ear and out the other. The only way to get his attention was to structure your argument in terms of the sole currency of any value to him – wanting Didi, having Didi, keeping Didi.
What is the setting of this scene?
What is the larger context?
What does he mean by “I’ve come too far to turn back now”?
Identify a metaphor in the passage.
To what does it refer?
Jake was speaking again, his persistence clear enough, though his voice was not. Didi kept interrupting, “No!… No!…Shut up!…” until finally she rasped, “Why do you always have to spoil everything? Isn’t it enough that I am with you now?”
She was back in the passenger seat in a heartbeat. “We’re going home.” It wasn’t a suggestion. It was a proclamation.
It took the Beamer’s defogger’s only a few seconds to erase all evidence of their passion.
What is Jake asking for that is upsetting Didi?
What does it say about Didi that she is upset over this?
What is it that Didi wants?
What is the foreshadowing in this passage?
What is it implying?
“Didi finally told me. She finally ‘fessed up. That’s why she never gave Jake the time of day at McKinley. The guy was a wedgie waiting to happen”
“Give me a break –” But even as I protested, the pieces were coming together in my mind. The honors classes, college papers, chess trophy, math tutor…”
“It’s not so crazy, you know,” she reasoned. “Around her friends, Didi had an image to maintain – prom queen, supermodel, who’s who in Who’s Who. But in front of Jake, who was nobody, she could be herself.”
“And she started to like him,” I concluded.
“He was the only person she could really talk to.”
“How long did they go out for?”
She glared at me, exasperated. “They went out for zero, that’s how long. This wasn’t the Jake you and I know.”
“She liked him,” I persisted.
“Look,” she said. “Cool people can have uncool friends, and it’s fine so long as they don’t expect to get invited to the same parties, and hang out with the same crowd, and date the same level of person. Jake was sweet, but life isn’t Revenge of the Nerds. She hadn’t thought twice about the guys until two weeks ago.”
No wonder Jake was so mixed up. Always thinking he had to buy my friendship with fancy lunches or catered breakfasts; feeling he had to have something to offer, like being himself wasn’t enough. It certainly hadn’t been enough for Didi Ray.
“Kind of lousy,” I mumbled
What does Jennifer mean when she says “He was the only person she could really talk to”?
What does Jennifer mean when she says “Cool people can have uncool friends, and it’s fine so long as they don’t expect to… date the same level of person.”
What does Rick think is “Kind of lousy” and why?
“What was she supposed to do? Jennifer argued. “Chuck everything for her math tutor? He had potential, sure. But Didi’s never been much of a creative thinker. Caterpillars aren’t her type. She’ll only go for a finished butterfly.”
“Maybe life is Revenge of the Nerds,” I said thoughtfully.
She nodded. “He almost pulled it off. But he couldn’t keep his mouth shut – bugging Didi to dump Todd. Like that’s ever going to happen!”
She climbed over me, straddling my chest to look straight down into my eyes. “Poor Jake. The whole thing is so pathetic, I almost care.”
That ended it. If she had offered up a truckload of gold bars along with herself, I still would have said no.
When Jennifer says “Chuck everything for her math tutor?” what does she mean by “everything”?
What was it that Jake misjudged in Didi?
What is it about him that made him misjudge her?
She was the ultimate affirmation, a megaphone blaring: I’m as good as you! Don’t I have the girl of everybody’s fantasies right here in my arms? It must have been enough to erase years of teasing that had surely been directed at an exceptionally bright kid.
“Way to go, Jake,” I said aloud.
Why does Rick leave Jennifer in the bathroom right in the middle of the most romantic moment of his life?
When Rick says “Way to go, Jake” what is he applauding?
Which side is Jennifer on - Didi’s or Jake’s?
What is your proof?
Why is Rick loyal to Jake?
Overarching Question: What is the value of sincerity?
When Chapter 14 opens, he has gone downstairs to a crush of wall-to-wall people, says “the noise was up to the point of pain” and decides to go home. But he sees Todd come in through the broken door, and decides that he has to warn Jake. Todd yanks the plug on the stereo and yells “Gar-rett!”
Jake appears, with Didi. Rick says “I was surprised to see the Jake smile on his face – and not a fake one, either. Maybe it was because Didi was by his side, and that was all he’d ever wanted or cared about…He was ready, even happy to do this, if it put him a step closer to Didi.” (pp.167-68)
Jake is looking good, and he’s calm.
“Glad you could make it, baby. What’s up?” he says to Todd.
“For a second there,” Rick says, “I toyed with the possibility…that his sheer faith in who he had become might do the job for him. This wasn’t the old Jacob Garrett. This was Jake, reinvented.” (p.168)
But Jake has seriously miscalculated. Todd has been to a recruiting seminar at this old school – McKinley – and learned the story of Jake’s past from the football players there.
“Funny thing,” he says. “The Jake Garrett they remember is a lot different from you. They told me about a nerdy little shrimp with giant glasses on his snot nose and a protractor sticking out of his butt.”
Todd says Jake was “stuffed into your locker by people who were sick of hearing about your science fair projects and math trophies.”
Finally, Todd asks: “How come a total loser at McKinley is suddenly all that at Fitz?” Jake doesn’t have a comeback.
“Because you’re a lying piece of crap!” Todd roared in his face. “Something like this doesn’t happen by accident! You think just because we aren’t math geeks like you that we’re too stupid to see what you’ve done to us?” (p. 169)
Korman(the author) describes Todd as prosecutor revealing evidence, “asking the jury to throw the book at this outlaw.”
As Todd is finishing up, in storms Nelson Jaworski, screaming for Garrett. Melissa tries to stop him but that just makes him madder. At the same time a bunch of Broncos come out of the basement carrying a “huge Fourth of July skyrocket” with Dipsy’s pants tied on the back. Dipsy is chasing them. They are trying to find a lighter to fire the thing off through the front door when Nelson lets out “a primordial shriek” when he spots Jake in the crowd. Rick tries to help Jake escape, but Todd punches him in the jaw.
Nelson has Jake by the throat, as the other Bronco’s fire off the rocket, but Dipsy makes a grab for his pants and that turns the rocket’s aim into the room.
“Jake’s eyes bulged in horror as his face began to turn a sickly gray-blue. Didi sprang over, and as she moved, she raised the champagne bottle she’d been hugging all night. Then, with a snap of her impossibly delicate wrist, hse brought the bottle down on Nelson’s head. It shattered. The big lineman dropped like a stone, releasing Jake, who tumbled free.”
At that moment, the firework goes off and flies across the room, scattering people and then goes straight up, slams into the living room ceiling and falls apart on impact so that burning cardboard and gunpowder are now falling on the two wading pools that hold the beer.
The gasoline from the Harley – which was on the paper towels that Jennifer and Rick put in the tubs – has floated to the surface and ignites. The flames burn through the tubs and burning water sloshes out across the living room floor. People freak out and start running. Rick is on his way out when he sees Jake stumbling around looking for Didi. Rick grabs him and drags him out of the house. The cops arrive – Mrs. Appleford had decided to bust the party before the fire started – and rush in the house, now pouring out smoke, to find Nelson unconscious on the floor.
The cops get him out onto the lawn and radio for an ambulance. Todd, with one arm around Didi and the other around Jennifer, watches in silence. Jake and Rick stand together watching. A cop yells at the crowd that this is a felony and he wants to know who did it. Nobody says a thing. Then, before Rick can stop him, Jake says “I did it.”
Rick says “To this day, I blame myself for not reacting faster. But in a million years I didn’t think the confession would hold up. It was such a transparent half-assed attempt at chivalry. Surely someone would vouch for the guy who was being choked half to death at the time!” (p. 180)
Nobody stands up for Jake except Rick. He tells the cops it’s not true.
“But the look of zealous determination on the face of Jake Garrett was one that I recognized all too well. It was the calculated driven fervor that had turned a lowly math tutor into a football player, a fashion statement, a legendary host, and a popularity machine – all to catch the eye of one girl.” (p. 181)
So Jake says again, louder this time, “It was me,” and the cops take him away in handcuffs.
As the chapter opens, Rick still feels bad about not doing more for Jake. He tells us that Mr. Garrett flies back to town about the time Nelson Jaworski finally opens his eyes in the hospital, and he couldn’t remember anything about getting hit. (p. 183)
Rick says that if Didi would come forward and tell the truth to the cops, she’s be okay because she was saving Jake from an attack, and Jake would be off the hook. Jake’s been kicked out of school for attacking another student.
They meet and the first thing Jake asks about is Didi, (who has not told the truth and never will).
“How’s she holding up under all of this?” Jake asks. (p. 185)
Jake says he’s been calling her but he understands that her parents won’t let her talk to him because suspicion might fall on her. When Rick hears this, he loses it.
“Suspicion SHOULD fall on her! She did it! It’s probably the only thing she did in her life that was for somebody else, but she did it!...You’d better start thinking about poor Jake! That girl’s going to let you take the rap for this! Think about it – what kind of person are you protecting? ” (p. 185)
Jake acts like he hasn’t heard and says he wishes there was some way that he could know she was alright. Rick explodes. “She’s fine!...She’s with Todd, and she’s always going to be with Todd! And if she breaks up with Todd, she’s going to find somebody exactly like Todd and be with him! She may have a fling every now and then, but the Didi’s of the world stay with their own kind!” (p. 186)
Rick then says “I’d never seen him look so wounded.”
Jake’s lawyer calls and when he goes to the phone, Rick stays in his room. In the closet he sees a big box of science fair trophies, math ribbons, books about chess and Dungeons & Dragons, and prizes from Quiz Bowl and Odyssey of the Mind. And there was a certificate signed by the mayor proclaiming Jacob Garrett to be the “Mathlete of the Year.” Under all that he finds mail-order catalogues from Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic, Nike, Ralph Lauren, and J. Crew, a book called Understanding Football and a county real estate map with the school districts marked in red. (p. 187)
Jake walks in the room and sees Rick and freezes. Rick says he looks at him “as if for the first time.” And then he says: “It was all for Didi, wasn’t it? From the very beginning. You threw those parties just because you knew that Didi would eventually show up at one of them.” Then he also realizes that Jake turned himself into a football player to get her, and moved to that neighborhood for the same reason.
Rick says: “You planned this – starting the very day she blew you off sophomore year.” (p. 187)
He didn’t deny it. His intensity was almost scary.
Jake asks: “Do you know how it feels when the girl you love – who you know could love you – won’t even look at you when she passes you in the hall because you’re not cool enough? Because she doesn’t want to admit to her friends that she even knows you?” (p. 188)
It occurred to me that he would never see the reality of what was being done to him. Because then he would have to admit to himself that he’d been nothing more than an unimportant footnote in Didi’s book. And that would mean accepting the fact that the last two years of his life had been totally meaningless…How could you save a guy who wouldn’t let himself be saved? (p. 188)
Rick has nightmares that night, seeing Jake practicing football snaps all summer – with “an iron will” since he probably didn’t’ even like football, and putting the lock on his door, and pouring over catalogues “piecing together a look for the new Jake, formerly Jacob, that would catch her eye and win her heart.” (pp. 188-89)
And, Rick says, “[H]e had pulled it off! What a rush these weeks must have been for him – the house to himself, Didi in his arms! That old Jacob Garrett, Mathlete of the Year, must have seemed a million miles away…And then, everything fell apart.” (p. 189)
Rick goes to see Jake’s lawyer, Mrs. Tidmarsh, and tries to tell her it’s not Jake’s fault. She says that if he wants to help Jake, he needs character witnesses – he needs to get a bunch of his school friends to show up in court and say what a good guy Jake is. So Rick tells everyone at school, puts up posters about the trial date, and gets the assistant principal to agree to write early release passes for people to go.
As the chapter opens, Rick has stuffed himself into a suit and tie and is waiting at the court house “ridiculously early” because he’s worried some of Jake’s friends - character witnesses – may back down. The trial is set for 9 a.m. By 8:30 no one has showed.
“I knew then. I should have known before. Nobody was coming to stand behind Jake. Not one solitary soul… As the minutes ticked by, my tenseness morphed into an incredulous sickening despair. (p. 195)
“How could they be so heartless? So rotten? Were they scared of what Todd thought? It didn’t matter. For whatever reason, they weren’t coming. Jake’s house hadn’t burned down last week. But everything he had built – his image, his status, his popularity – had gone up in smoke. He was unmade, not by fire, but by cold, smooth indifference…Those bastards!” (p. 195)
At 10 to nine he goes up the courthouse steps alone. Suddenly Dipsy runs up and says let’s get in there and join the others. When Rick says there are no others, Dipsy says “They used to show up by the hundreds.” And Rick replies, bitterly, “Yeah, for free beer, free pizza and free bedrooms. Not for Jake.” Dipsy starts talking about sea life and Rick gets pissed off. Then Dipsy explains that the remora is able to swim with the sharks without getting eaten by them. It feeds off the bits and pieces that the shark misses. (p. 197)
“And what was in it for Dipsy? He got to experience, albeit on the fringes, a social life that would have been barred to him as a pudgy, funny-looking junk-food addict who spoke in aquatic riddles. He got the scraps that fell from the careless jaws of the sharks.” (p. 198)
Rick asks him if it is worth it – just to go for the scraps. Dispy says “I used to get picked on. Really picked on. Like nobody is smiling when it’s happening…this is better.” And then Dipsy says that he will quit being a remora when he graduates. It’s not an identity – it’s a survival technique.
They go into the courtroom. Nick keeps bugging Jake’s attorney about when he will get to stand up and say something good about Jake’s character. But she tells him they are already at the sentencing. He jumps up and yells to the judge that Jake is innocent and that it was really Didi Ray. But the judge has him thrown out of court. He tries to get back in.
“They had to listen to me. Here, of all places, surely the truth meant something.” (p. 202) But the bailiff threatens to arrest him. So he is sitting on the steps, watching the world carry on, while his friend’s life is falling to pieces inside. He thinks about how Didi could have saved Jake with “a few words out of her exquisitely formed mouth” but she wasn’t interested enough to even show up.
What are the similarities between Dipsy and Jake?
What are the differences?
“Out of all of them,” Nick says, “only Dipsy had cared enough to show up – Dipsy, who they teased and tormented. Maybe there was something about being picked on that was character building, that made you a human being.” (p. 202)
“The old Jacob Garrett, the nerd from McKinley, Didi’s math tutor, had been no stranger to that kind of abuse. In creating his new self and placing it at the center of their world, he had beaten them at their own game. They were never going to forgive him for that.” (p. 203)
While Rick is thinking all this stuff, Jake comes out of the courthouse and thanks him for being there. Then he immediately asks about Didi. So Rick tells him the truth: “I begged her to come. She wouldn’t.” (p. 204) Jake tells Rick that he got a suspended sentence, but under the terms of the plea agreement, he would have to leave town – and go live with his mom in Texas. Rick is pissed, because he sees it as Todd Buckley winning again, but he also thinks that “[m]aybe from a distance, he’d be able to see that Didi wasn’t worth his mindless devotion.” Jake pulls out a card with his mom’s number and address on it and hands it to Rick. Rick thinks it’s meant for him – that Jake wants to keep in touch with him – but then Jake explains that it’s for Didi.
When Jake hugs Rick goodbye, Rick says “it wasn’t an embrace of friendship. It was more like the desperate grasp of a drowning man.” (p. 204) Finally Rick says “They’re crappy people… You’re worth more than the lot of them put together.” (pp. 205-206) Then Rick sees Jennifer approaching. She had been in the courtroom but he hadn’t seen her. He turned away from her and she left without speaking.
“Still,” he said “I was glad she had come. Jen the Merciless had a shred of conscience. Good for her.” (p. 206)
That night he sees his mom moving a For Sale sign out of the garage. It’s for Jake’s old house.
“I didn’t mind because I didn’t care. I walked out of the clubhouse as the only Bronco with a clear conscience.”
Then – Bam! Crab apple sizzles by his head.
“I always knew you were a hopeless romantic Ricky. That’s why I never gave up on you.”
Didi knew him as someone she could be herself with – without having to play to the role of the popular girl. And when he became cool, she could have both. But Todd was even cooler because his position was much more established.
Jake actually became superficial just to get her – that’s the irony. She loved his sincerity and the freedom she had to be that way with him. But for him to have her, he had to become “popular.” And that meant giving up who he really was in order to have her. He wanted her and what she stood for – social success – more than he wanted who he really was. He gave himself away in the process. And Didi let him, because she was not able to see beyond her own needs. That’s what makes this a tragedy.
Dispy and Jake both knew what it was like to be picked on. Dipsy found a way to escape it by changing his game temporarily, whereas Jake changed his whole personality.
Dipsy knew who he was, while Jake hid from who he was, or from who he had been. He was so afraid of the nerd status that when his past was discovered, he couldn’t even defend himself.