Jack’s personality can be summed up in a few word: ‘on the look-out for a quick buck, an easy fuck and a violent ruck‘. In view of this, I thought that it would be illuminating to take Jack out of his comfort zone and place him, along with his mate Barry, in Communist Russia – specifically Moscow Yaroslavskaya railway station, just to see what he made of it. And what a jolly jape arose!
It’s useful to establish a couple of things here. Firstly – I am a pantser, not a plotter. This means that I ‘don’t plan out anything, or plan very little’. Secondly – Jack is not usually prone to helping people out – not even mates.
So, picture the scene – I am in the Golden Ball in York at a Writing Meetup. I have just been dealt a succession of devasting blows: the pub cannot give us a private (quiet) room to write in, they do not have WiFi and, worse of all, they do not serve chips! This was the venue for me to write the epic battle between Jack the misanthropist and the might of Soviet Russia, and I had just an hour to do it in.
First things first – Jack had to travel back in time. How would he cope with this? Surprisingly well actually! In fact, I don’t think he really noticed the year, so intent was he on figuring out how to get food and shelter in a hostile environment. His ethnic origin (half Polish) helped him a little with the language, and his inherent brutality helped him with the attitude of the ubiquitous soldiers towards himself and the general populace.
Secondly – how would he react to his friend being in danger? This is where the setting had the first effect on Jack. Instead of reacting with disdain or disinterest, as he would have at home, some element of the nurturing nature of his mother came to the fore. Without hesitation, or thought for his own personal safety, he set out to rescue his mate from a one-way trip to Siberia. Perhaps the thought of being alone compelled him to do this, or perhaps it was the thought of his mate being alone? I think this unlikely, though – that would be a step too far for Jack.
Lastly – what would his reaction be to rescuing his mate? The whoop of joy and wild laughter that ensued as a result of the rush of adrenalin and the feeling of having won against steep odds would not have happened at home. But in this setting, I feel that this was very appropriate. Jack is the kind of person that seeks out conflict and embraces danger, but he would have found nothing as challenging as this at home. In this new setting, he truly found himself in his element, and the raw feeling of power and accomplishment played to his deepest nature and consequently brought him much joy.
In conclusion, Jack found his true spiritual home in the Soviet sphere and his personality blossomed accordingly. Yay for Jack.