“Blackberries in June” by Ron Rash
- Pages: 4
- Word count: 849
- Category: Family
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“Blackberries in June” by Ron Rash, is about a couple, Matt and Jamie, who have a very pessimistic family, especially when it comes to the young couples accomplishments in life. What makes Jamie and Matt different from the other family members? They have a lot of determination, motivation, discipline, and are willing to make sacrifices necessary to get where they want to be in life. Throughout the story, the author gives a variety of examples of just how different these two characters are in particular. The three qualities that are the most different from the rest of the family are unlike them they are goal oriented, hard working, and make the necessary sacrifices.
Matt and Jamie have been planning their life together since high school and set goals for themselves to make their dream happen. Matt reminds Jamie after a disheartening visit to her grandmother’s house that this is what they have always dreamed of. “Some will say we are lucky when you’re working in a dentist’s office and I’m a shift supervisor in a plant, like we hadn’t been planning that very life since we were juniors in high school” (Rash 243). They have been making the necessary sacrifices to help them get that much closer to achieving their goals, as Matt points out in the conversation they are having on the drive home. “They’ll forget how we worked near full-time jobs in high school and saved that money when they wasted theirs on new trucks and fancy clothes” (Rash 243). The willingness to give up some luxuries in life to keep their priorities straight shows how committed Matt and Jamie are to their future. Even if it is at an inconvenience to others, as her mother clearly states when they get to the family dinner. “I know you all are trying to save money, but I wish you had a phone” (Rash 239). The young couple has put their immediate desires on hold so they can achieve the big picture they have dreamed of, planned for, and worked hard to get this far.
Jamie and Matt have worked hard and taken advantage of the opportunities life has given them. They have used those opportunities as stepping stones to get and stay ahead of the curve. As Matt points out when he says, “If we hadn’t seen Old Man Watson’s sign before the real-estate agents did, they’d have razed the house and sold the lot alone to some Floridian at twice what we paid” (Rash 242). The other family members generally only see their opportunities as luck, not as a product of determination and discipline. Jamie hears most of the banter from her sister in law who says absurd things like, “Linda says good luck follows us around like a dog that needs petting all the time. She thinks you and me getting this house is just one more piece of luck” (Rash 424). Even though life may have given the young couple a few breaks, it has not come without a hefty price of hard work and commitment to stay focused on their goals.
Yet they are resented by the other members of their family instead of being encouraged to continue on pursuing their dreams. Jamie proves this point when she says, “But I get so tired of people acting resentful because we’re doing well. It even happens at the Café. Why can’t they all be like Charlton, just happy for us?” (Rash 243). Matt is very blunt and accurate in his response to her question: “Because it reminds them they’re too lazy and undisciplined to do it themselves” (Rash 243). He goes on to further prove his point in specific relation to his sister and brother in law. “Well, the next time she says that you tell her anybody with no better sense than to have three kids in the first five years she’s married can’t expect to have much money for a down payment on a house, especially with a skidder to pay off as well” (Rash 242). Matt and Jamie’s determination, discipline, and motivation helps them to work harder to get the things the ultimately want in life.
The couple is, in fact, very different from their family because Jamie and Matt have learned that what it takes to get what they want in life requires a lot of effort and does not come easy. Matt and Jamie have learned that without setting goals for themselves, working hard, and making sacrifices, they will never have the life they have dreamed of. Nothing is ever handed to any one without some sort of string attached whether it is obvious or not. With that being said, nothing is ever achieved without motivation, determination, or self discipline. Jamie and Matt’s family could benefit immensely if they would implement even just a few of the traits the couple has into their own lives.
Rash, Ron. “Blackberries in June”. World Views: Classic and Contemporary Readings. Ed. Darren Felty, et al. 6th ed. Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2010. 237-248. Print.