Whistlejacket Summary
John Hawkes

Everything you need to understand or teach Whistlejacket by John Hawkes.

  • Whistlejacket Summary & Study Guide

Whistlejacket Summary

Whistlejacket is a study in human cruelty and how people rationalize it.

The novel sets out in the manner of a domestic romance. Michael, now a fashion photographer, had been taken in and raised by Harold (Hal) Van Fleet, the wealthy owner of Steepleton, a horse breeding farm that stages fox hunts. The novel begins with a description of Michael's sexual awakening, with hints that he and Hal's daughter, Virgie, will become lovers. This seemingly gentle movement toward romance is shaken when Hal's widow asks Michael to create a photographic biography of her deceased husband.

Michael discovers that the fine, upright man he had admired as a father was also a cruel manipulator of women.

Buse, who Michael believed had been befriended by the Van Fleets as he had been, is revealed to have been Hal's mistress. Three years after his marriage to Alex, Hal informed her that...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

The Whistlejacket Study Pack contains:

Whistlejacket Short Guide

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