All posts by Emma Snipes

Driver

When Jende and his family settle into New York, from Cameroon, he is desperate for a job to support his family. He dresses up in his ridiculous green suit and goes to an interview for a chauffeur job. Jende was very clueless and not the most qualified person for this job. Clark saw this in Jende and thought he would be perfect for the spot because of his ignorance. Clark liked that Jende was not in tune with what was going on around him, and saw it as the perfect opportunity to get away with what ever he desired.

With this being said, Jende was given a job that brought him into a very personal part of the Edwards’ lives. The significance of this job played a big role in the plot of the story and would have been very different if he had another job. Being the driver of the Edwards’ family gave Jende contact with every family member. This included Clark, Cindy, and Mighty Edwards.

Jende learned about Clark’s shady habits, like shredding papers or taking trips to hotels and coming our with his clothes wrinkled. He observed Clark and Cindy’s relationship and how their marriage life was. He saw Cindy’s pain from her past and her struggling with addiction. He watched how the Edward’s raised their son mighty and their relationship with him.  With this job, Jende saw and heard everything that went on with the Edward’s, whether it was work related or personal.

Jende’s knowledge of the Edward’s gives his family an advantage when he was fired. Since Jende had so much dirt on the Edward’s family him and his wife were able to use that against them when they needed money. If Jende were lets say the butler of the Edwards, he might have the knowledge of the family life but he would have no clue what Clark was doing at work or his stops during the day. If he worked in the Office with Clark he would have no knowledge of the Edward’s family life or marriage.

Jende’s job as a driver really optimized his appearance and observations of the Edwards.  Life would have been very different for the Jongas’ if Jende had another job. Its hard to say if it would have been better or worse but it is for certain that the job he was given in America set up the whole plot of this story. Without this Job, the Jongas would have probably never met the Edwards. Jende may have never found another job or he may have found one that he wouldn’t get fired from. The Jongas would have never gotten the money from Cindy Edwards, that allowed them to stay afloat in America. The Jongas may have ended up staying in America and not having to go back to Cameroon. They may have been able to achieve their American dream if Jende never got the Job as the Edward’s driver.

There are so many what ifs for both families and their outcomes if Jende never became the driver of the Edward’s. Being the driver versus anything else, allowed Jende into a huge part of the Edward’s lives. He was able to use this knowledge to help his family but ultimately it was not enough for them to stay and follow through with their dreams in America.