Percy Jackson has been known to be an owner of persistence—when he stood up for his best friend Grover against Nancy Bobofit, for example, but the most fundamental questions remain: Is this a permanent trait? Or is it a result of the frustration Percy experienced whilst discovering a new world, as it seems, until page 45? Is it a mist that blinds the mind, or is it merely a veil concealing an actual clarity of the mind? Is it persistence at all, or is it stubbornness, an over-emotional symptom and an unwillingness to leave way to legitimacy? This is a summary and analysis of two choices Percy Jackson commits to, through which we can provide answers to these questions.
The first incident happened on page 19, and it evolved around a secret conversation of Grover and Mr. Brunner:
“…alone this summer,” Grover was saying. “I mean, a Kindly One in the school! Now that we know for sure, and they know too—”
“We would only make matters worse by rushing him,” Mr. Brunner said. “We need the boy to mature more.”
“But he may not have time. The summer solstice dead-line—”
“Will have to be resolved without him, Grover. Let him enjoy his ignorance while he still can.”
“Sir, he saw her…”
“His imagination,” Mr. Brunner insisted. “The Mist over the students and staff will be enough to convince him of that.”
“Sir, I…I can’t fail in my duties again.” Grover’s voice was choked with emotion. “You know what that would mean.”
The reason why this event was chosen is because it is a turning point; this is when Percy starts to know for sure something is being hidden from him; therefore, the decision he makes here impacts his stand on future crossroads: for example, when his mom told him “I thought you’d finally be safe [at Yancy academy]” on page 39, he held a deeper understanding, or perhaps more of a deeper doubt; “I knew I should tell my mom about the old ladies at the fruit stand…” He would most possibly keep on referencing this eavesdropped back-and-forth when he meets other strange happenings, either clearly in front of him or just at the back of his head.
Moving on, Percy’s reaction to this event was asking Grover sarcastically on the bus, when he was looking around tensely, “Looking for Kindly Ones?”. “Grover’s eye twitched”, and he “winced” out a lie; furthermore, Percy declared Grover a “bad liar” and made his friend more uncomfortable and guiltier than before.
By doing this, He acerbically “forces” Grover to respond, even after recognizing his lying and seeing his discomfort. Additionally, the underlined paragraph in the previous quote showed Grover’s fear and helplessness; it was detectable that Grover has a job at risk. However, the feeling of the disregard Percy directed at that last bit of the conversation is obvious, possibly because he was already drowned by the assertion that his best friend and favorite teacher were talking behind his back; this goes to prove Percy’s disability to process non-instant information.
Through the choice to itself, Percy has put himself in danger through his disdain—he will now be inclined to figure-out, but no one is in support of that; likewise, he has made Grover’s life harder—Grover is now struggling to keep a friend who has put himself in a thrashing, active, and dangerous position, and he risks failing his task. Furthermore, we do not see Percy considering beforehand what he was going to say to Grover; all there was, was an acknowledgment to people talking behind his back.
Even though decisions are made with a fair mixture of logic and emotion, as stated in the article Recognizing and Managing Emotions by Skills You Need, it is not legitimate for Percy to ignore the reason why Grover is making his decision to hide the truth; also, my experience from daily life is that friendship is fragile when trust gets border-lined, especially since there was nothing mean and hurtful in the secret conversation, only care and worry. When misunderstanding is not smoothed out and no one understands the other person, none will benefit. Of course, it is right that Percy should be annoyed; talking behind someone’s back is never a right thing to do, and not knowing something that sounds like it could cost himself his life will never be fun. Alas, it is wrong for Percy to throw his annoyance onto his best friend, who is pressured and anxious. If I were to provide a suggestion, it would be for Percy to not “give in to negative thinking” by “looking for evidence against them”, as suggested in the previously cited article. This would allow Percy to level the amount of logic and emotion rolled into one choice.
Advancing, this is an outline of the second choice Percy committed to:
- Percy’s mom, Sally, recalled his father and described him as handsome and gentle; she compared Percy to his father, saying they have reflecting features.
- Percy asks about his education; Sally tells him they’ll “have to do something”
- Percy comments that Sally doesn’t want him around, and that he’s not normal.
- Percy remembers dangers he has before faced at various schools.
- His mom talks about a summer camp, leading Percy into deeper confusion.
- Sally ends the conversation, melancholy.
During this continuum, we see the somberness of Percy’s mother—“But I can’t talk about it. I—I couldn’t send you to that place. It might mean saying good-bye to you for good”—and also the guilt—My mom’s eyes welled with tears. She took my hand, squeezed it tight. “Oh, Percy, no. I—I have to, honey…I have to send you way”. Because all is told from the perspective of Percy, he detects these emotions as well. Percy cares for his mom, as deduced from his opinion of Gabe not being a cent worth for her; even so, even when he knows how much his mother misses his dad and how much she wants Percy to stay with her, he continues to press his mom on the summer camp and why he is “special”. It is visible that these questions drag Sally more and more into sadness.
We also observe that one of Percy’s first reactions was an instinct to be “angry at [his] father”—this decision is one of many emotion-driven choices Percy has made, and it is not a cool-minded one. An example of the rare logical reactions he own is when he “regretted the” sharp words he said to his mom: “because you don’t want me around?” But this came too late to convince readers of Percy’s ability to stay calm.
Because Percy has no idea who his father is, why his father left and never came back, why his mom married Gabe, how he himself is abnormal and “special”, why he had faced quite an abundance of dangers in various schools, how a summer camp is special, etc.—because of this, he grows more and more frustrated when his mom talks about sending him away and how he’s different, and more and more angry at his dad. However, Percy is not in touch with his own unknowing status; as a result, he strives to understand but understands less and less as he does so, hurting who he depends on the most and who depends on him the most—his mom.
Instead of putting the burden of answering his questions of worry on others he love, the article How to Focus on Studying by Kelly Roel suggests answering “one’s own internal questions”. By clarifying inside yourself how things are, you will be natural given a chance to rethink; this would help the emotional problems of Percy Jackson as well. It is also a tip worth trying when you get into an emotional breakdown and need answers.
Finally, we come to the point of deciding responses to the questions asked in the beginning. We conclude that Percy does not have a balance of logic and emotion; instead, every described first-instinct in these choices is controlled by the heart, the mind coming in too late to do anything but patch a unhealable wound. We also define Percy’s persistence with a tint of harshness to be his trait, since he is far too easily shaken and far too unwilling to consider for it to be a result of unbearable frustration.
All in all, Percy’s sentimental judgments have mostly affected the community around him and himself negatively, and thinking from a different perspective, as we should all consider doing, will prevent this loop-hole from expanding.