I have to admit, the character Jane often agitated me in My Year in Meats. Only a little bit. There is a simple reason why. I got frustrated with her for being so uncooperative in her job.
I will admit that John Wayno is an asshole. No one will get an argument from me over that. Yet, he was her boss. He was in tough position with his company, which gave him some reason to be upset with her. Regardless of the ratings she was bringing in, she wasn’t helping the meat cause, which ultimately was her responsibility. Thus, she wasn’t thinking of the tough position John was in when she went against him. She was also not doing her job. This made me a little upset.
I thought she should have only been disobedient when she needed to be. By always going against her boss, she was doing it to spite him, not for any legitimate cause. However, saying this, I want to make it clear that I think there were several parts in the book I felt John deserved a comeuppance. Especially the time he raped Akiko and tried to get into Jane’s pants. That was not cool.
Otherwise, I knew there was some literary reason for her nature. I thought about it for a while and found my answers while analyzing why Jane choose the most “un-natural Americans.”
She picked a couple that had two children of their own and then adopted several Asian children. They almost had a dozen or so children as I remember.
She then picked the lesbian vegetarian couple. They both had two children who were born via sperm donation.
At first I thought that maybe the author made Jane choose the “weird Americans” to make a point. I thought she was saying that the most normal Americans are the ones that are not. Then I decided that the author’s decision probably had a lot to do with Jane’s character.
Jane never had a normal life. She was half Japanese, half white, in one of the most Caucasian places in
She married a Black man during her life. Then she got a divorce. Then, during the course of the book, she dates a white man. Her entire life was spent dealing with culturally diverse relationships. It is easy to understand why she would want to find other people in similar circumstances. They were just like her.
Jane is also known to seek out answers that have to do with her. The main reason she is interested in the DES drug is because it affected her. I doubt she would have been as curious if her mother had not been injected with it while she was pregnant with her. If Jane’s ability to have a baby wasn’t at stake, it is doubtful she would have cared as much about the DES. It isn’t hard to assume then that she was being slightly selfish in her selections for the families.