Jacob Yi

Jacob Yi


Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up... in Korea. Jacob thought his life was difficult there, prompting his emigration to America with his wife Monica.

Living... in 1980s Arkansas. He aspires to become a successful farmer, and he believes the plot of land he selected in rural Arkansas contains some of the best soil in America. Jacob and his family live in a mobile home on the property.

Profession... chicken sexer and farmer. Initially, Jacob has the tedious job of differentiating male and female chickens; high speed and efficiency were expected in California, which exhausted and bored him. In Arkansas, Jacob wants to farm produce from his home country, providing food for fellow Korean immigrants in America.

Interests... farming. Desiring to serve as a model of success to his family, Jacob wants to grow a large farm on his property, from which he will obtain the food to sell to Korean immigrants. Occasionally he will take time for a smoke break, drawing the ire of Paul, who assists Jacob in his endeavors.

Relationship Status... married to Monica. As implied by Monica's mother Soon-ja, the couple was initially deeply in love, singing a special Korean song to each other. Now, they have a daughter, Anne, and a son, David, who has a heart condition. Lately, Jacob and Monica have been getting into arguments, causing the two children to fly paper airplanes at them containing written messages to stop fighting.

Challenge... bridging the gap between career and family. Jacob's farm occupies much of his time and mental energy, and Monica is not entirely in favor of the recent move to Arkansas. Growing crops isn't easy, and many buyers are more willing to purchase from distant, larger farms instead of Jacob's. While he tries to manage the whack-a-mole game that constitutes farming, Jacob needs to become a more present and loving figure for Monica and the children.

Personality... motivated, strict, and logical. Giving up is not in Jacob's vocabulary: "Even if I fail, I have to finish what I started." Compared to Soon-Ja, Jacob is stricter and more traditional in dealing with the children. When David is disobedient, Jacob tells him to grab a stick to spank him with. He is suspicious of water diviners and insists on using the brain to solve issues.


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