It is the feeling of butterflies in a person’s stomach. It is the person one dreams about every night. It is that one person on someone’s mind, who makes him or her forget about everything and everyone around him or her. Love is a dangerous drug, and can often take one out of reality, or become oblivious to those around them. In Dark Companion by Marta Acosta, Jane Williams is transferred to Birch Grove, a rich and academically enhanced school, where she meets the headmistress’s son, Lucky Radcliffe. Jane then falls in love with Lucky, but negative consequences follows.
Her love towards Lucky causes her to become blind to the outside world, in which Jane becomes blind towards the true intentions of Lucky, towards herself, and towards the truth of what is really happening, until eventually someone has to get her to face reality. First, the moment Jane walks onto the porch of the Radcliffe house, an attractive and muscular boy with honey-gold hair greets her. Immediately, she falls in love at first sight with Lucky Radcliffe, when “The door was opened by a tall, lean young man so beautiful he took my breath away,” (p. 39), but little did she know, she is walking straight into a trap.
Her love for Lucky blinds her from Lucky’s true self and his own intentions with her, and sets her off course to a dimension of obliviousness. Lucky begins by charming Jane, complimenting her, and making her feel special about herself. These tactics are used to manipulate Jane into falling for him, because in reality, Lucky is simply a guy who uses this for status and adoration. Jane does not realize she is being played, but when she eventually does, she says, “How stupid was I to think that I might have meant something to him when he was only playing me, because he wanted adoration. ” (p. 163).
Her bliviousness makes her believe that Lucky truly likes her, but in reality, Lucky is simply using her for other purposes. Her blind love for Lucky causes her to be played into Lucky’s selfish intentions. However, Jane continues to stay with Lucky, giving him a couple of more chances. After a while, Lucky himself reveals his true intentions for being with Jane, in which he stays with her to have the taste of her blood. “Sure. Jane, I really like you, but … I like your blood. Anyways, there’s someone else. ” (p. 280). At this point, Jane fully realizes that Lucky does not love her at all, and he is only using her for her blood.
Lucky likes another girl, signifying what he said to Jane means nothing. With extra help, Jack attempts to tell her “Lucky was not a possession. He was a person with his own issues. ” (p. 281). With the speech from Lucky, and some interpreted information from Jack, Jane chooses to cut ties with Lucky in the end, saying that she will no longer be his Companion. (p. 334). Jane’s love for Lucky blinds her from Lucky’s true intentions, but she is assisted with Lucky’s statement towards her, and Jack’s message, eventually putting her on the right path.
Second, Lucky is the main person on Jane’s mind. She loves him way too much, and because of that, she forgets to love herself. Everything she does is in hopes of grabbing his attention. Her lack love towards herself shows when she says, “I wanted to hear him tell me that what we had was special, that I was special, and not merely some mousy girl. ” (p. 191). Jane’s love towards Lucky takes over and puts all her attention on him, in doing so; it blinds her from respecting herself.
Jane’s much needed “acceptance” from Lucky causes her to be vulnerable, and become easily manipulated by Lucky, as she says, “I despised myself for letting my crush on Lucky make me so vulnerable. ” (p. 163). Jane knows about how vulnerable she is to Lucky, but she chooses not to act upon in because of her love for Lucky. Jane is indeed a strong girl (p. 228), but with her love for him dominates her mind, and making her forget to love herself. With the intervention of Jack, Jane realizes she is not truly loving herself, and going down the wrong path of love.
Jack asks Jane if she truly loves Lucky, and if she would do anything for him. After Jane replies that she would do anything to make him [Lucky] happy, Jack then states, “That’s not love Jane, that’s letting yourself be used. ” (p. 196). Here, Jack opens her up to how she is treating herself, and he says she is being used by Lucky. Jane is completely surprised over his statement, showing how this did not come up in her thoughts, and how she is blinded by love. She gets upset at first, but eventually, she takes it into account, and decides that she will not stay with Lucky anymore. p. 334).
At the end of the novel, she ends up dating Jack, and treats herself with more respect than she did with Lucky. Since Jane was completely blinded by her love for Lucky, she forgets to love herself, until Jack opens her eyes in order for her to see reality. Third, while Jane is falling head over heels for Lucky, Jack is attempting to help Jane from being manipulated by Lucky. Jack is trying to get Jane to become independent, and not depend on Lucky for everything. Jack is the hero in this story, but his intentions are completely misread by Jane.
Jack mentions to Jane multiple times, on how Lucky was a person with his own issues (p. 281), but Jane does not take that into account. Jane is too in love with Lucky, causing her to give blind judgment to Jack’s statement. At the start of the novel, Jane found Jack “odd,” and she says, “I’d have to be careful around Jacob (Jack) Radcliffe. ” (p. 60). Also, Jack has been scaring her outside her cottage (p. 118), making perfect sense why Jane does not like him from the start. She finds him to be very creepy. With the bad impression from the beginning, Jack can be considered as the antagonist in Jane’s story.
However, the irony prevails as Jack does give her useful information, and his outside view on her and Lucky. He also tells her that Jane should not be with Lucky, and that she should run, as he does not want to see her get hurt (p. 300). Even with this (correct) information, Jane still considers him as the antagonist, where she tells her, “I hate you and your spoiled rich-boy games of messing with me. I don’t know if you do this because you’re bored, or because you don’t think I’m good enough to be Lucky’s Companion.
But you’re a liar and you’re cruel because you like to trick me, you like to hurt me. -Jane (p. 301) Jack has attempted to help her, but Jane’s love for Lucky blinds her from differentiating what is true and false. Jack is trying to tell her the truth, but she blindly stands in defense for Lucky, and does not realize the consequences of not trusting Jack. Behind the scenes, lack has really been protecting Jane the entire time. When Jane meets Claire in the Chemistry lab, Claire mentions, “I would have done it [killed you] before, but Jack spent nights sleeping near your cottage,” in which Jane thought to herself, “Jack had watched out for me! (p. 312).
This statement by Claire clearly contrasts the original thought Jane had about Jack, in which he is up to no by good creeping outside her cottage. The moment she hears Claire mentions these lines, her thoughts about Jack turns around 180 degrees, as Jane begins to realize the truth, that Jack had truly been looking out for her the entire time. After escaping the Chemistry lab, Jane is found unconscious, and not breathing. Jack finds her on the ground, and begins to do CPR on her (p. 319).
This shows how Jane is blind to Jack’s original intentions, as her love for Lucky dominates her, causing her to shield out other information. In the end, after all truth has been unveiled, Jane ends up dating Jack, a boy who genuinely cares and looks out for her. If it were not for Jack, Jane would not be alive at this point in the book. Her original preference for Lucky and her hatred for Jack clearly blind her from Jack’s true intentions, but in the end, Jack’s actions are what made Jane fall for him, and opening her up to reality.
The effects of love have a negative impact on Jane’s abilities to differentiate from right and wrong. With the feeling of love, Jane is oblivious to harmful intentions, herself, and the truth but with the help from an outside perspective, she is able to see the big picture of what is going on around her. Jack, on the outside, plays a role in love as well, by taking care of her and leading her on the correct path. Is love about possessiveness and blindly accepting someone for who they are, or is it about giving someone what they need the most?