Carnal Knowledge (By Boyle)

T. Coraghessan Boyle, `Carnal Knowledge`, can be considered as a reflection of a case which can be found in the modern world. Boyle uses a combination of both realistic as well as ironic method to get the reader to understand the situation especially from the main character. The spirit in human beings is the one that separates them from animals. Animals lack conscience necessary to guide and equip them with the deep sense of right or wrong. The use of irony in Boyles work portrays how man tries to gain love and materialistic substances in life but the events lead to undesirable results and misfortunes. This proves that true relations cannot be developed from fake intentions and ambitions.

Boyles writing portrays two people, Alena and Jim, who are living as if they are lacking human spirit. Just like animals, they live and act to satisfy their own wants with no sense of morality. Jim lies of being a vegan (Boyle, 1997). Alena’s hatred for humankind is also noted. From the information available in this informative piece of work, an underlying theme clearly comes out. The theme is that human beings without spirituality and deep moral reasoning become just meat.

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Jim exposes himself as an animal as he even tells the reader about himself. He acts the way he wants and is aware that his pleasure is being derived from the suffering of others. Eating and engaging in sexual activity are two basic and fundamental things in a male. Both are sparked off from the need to recreate and maintain life. There are also different ways in which the two aspects are satisfied. Jim is a normal man, average with a stable job. He is satisfied with his general life. He struggles in his thirties to find a stable relationship with a female partner. From the onset of the story, Boyle makes it clear that Jim is not a vegetarian, and he loves to eat meat. When the story unfolds the true character of the main narrator, we realize that people can hide their identity to satisfy their selfish ambitions as evidenced from Jim.

From my point of view, human actions ought to be guided by rationality. As far as one wants to achieve a desirable end, the actions geared towards achieving the legitimate end should take into consideration the effects that they have on other people. It is the power of reasoning endowed to all human beings that make them different from animals. However, when this is not exercised, we can claim that they are not far from becoming beasts. The power to think and reason in a human being cannot be limited to mere satisfaction of one’s egoistic desires. Humans have to venture more and ensure that they act and live in accordance to set moral standards.

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