Jimmy Graham is a nineteen-year-old man who has been engaged as a result of his previous encounters. At the age of six, he witnessed his mother’s murder by his father, Harry Graham, an enraged alcoholic. Jimmy’s testimony aided in the conviction of his father. Jimmy’s rage often appears as passive-aggressive behavior. He was also refused entry into the army due to medical problems. He then proceeded to search for his pal, Jimmy, who had been released from prison. He discovers that Harry is in a sexual relationship with Jenny Benson and lives in a trailer park near their older home in Pennsylvania. Harry has the best intentions for harry and wants him to explore whichever dream he wants. However, Jimmy is passive aggressive and tries to sabotage his friend behind his back while being friendly to his face (Kelley).
Jimmy as a Private Investigator
The qualities that make Jimmy a good candidate for a private investigator are:
A good detective does not show fear or pain. The character Jimmy is not fond of showing his emotions. He lives with his friend Harry but he never shows emotions. He is not afraid of anything and does not seem hurt by the fact that he saw his father kill his mother at the age of six. Not once does his friend, Harry, see him crying over the death of his mother and the arrest of his father. He can tell that Jimmy is an angry person but he cannot get him to talk about anything.
A good investigator should also be free from family ties. Family can be used by enemies as a point of weakness. Therefore, family is more of a liability and a weakness than a source of emotional support. Jimmy is not in contact with any family member since his father was in prison for a long time and his mother is dead. He is unlikely to have a close relationship with his father even when he is paroled since they have been apart for thirteen years. The fact that he is almost a lone wolf makes him a perfect candidate for the job (Kelley).
A good private detective should also be intelligent. Jimmy is smart as he is able to be friendly toward Harry and plan his downfall at the same time. While this might be considered wrong since Harry Hosts and genuinely cares about him, we should look at the fact that Jimmy can paint a different picture. He studies harry quickly and even finds out his strengths and weaknesses as this is the best way to bring someone down. He is able to act in a certain manner and even fool the people he interacts with on a daily basis without suspicion (Similä).
Jimmy also does not trust people. He is unwilling to talk about his anger issues with anyone including his friend, Harry. He is also not very fond of women as does not engage in romantic relationships. His lack of trust for people, women included, means that he would not let his feelings get in the way of his work. Jimmy can make a good private investigator since his decisions will be based on facts and logic, they will not be affected by emotions. The job requires someone who is not easily influenced (Similä).
Jimmy is a disturbed young man with anger issues because of a difficult childhood which makes him a loner. However, his ability to be a lone wolf and the fact that he does not show emotions and is unlikely to fall in love makes him a perfect candidate for a private detective.
Mansfield-Kelley, Deane, and Lois A. Marchino, eds. The Longman Anthology of Detective Fiction. Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, 2005.
Similä, Maritta. “The Persistence of Orientalist Stereotypes: The Representation of Chinese Americans in SJ Rozan’s Detective Fiction Series.” (2008).