Clybourne Park

by

Bruce Norris

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Jim Character Analysis

A white man in his late twenties. Jim is a local pastor and friend of the Stollers. He has a wife, Judy, who never appears onstage. He is an easygoing man, who genuinely wants to help his neighbors and community members in times of trouble. Although he is not a hardline segregationist like Karl, he espouses racist views such as a belief in certain immutable differences between the races, and is nervous about the prospect of a black family moving into Clybourne Park. Jim is played by the same actor who plays Tom in Act II.

Jim Quotes in Clybourne Park

The Clybourne Park quotes below are all either spoken by Jim or refer to Jim. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Race and Racism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Farrar, Straus and Giroux edition of Clybourne Park published in 2011.
Act 1 Quotes

Tell ya what I think. And I’m not a psychiatrist or anything but I do think a lotta people today have this tendency, tendency to brood about stuff, which, if you ask me, is, is, is — well, short answer, it’s not productive. And what I’d say to these people, were I to have a degree in psychiatry, I think my advice would be maybe, get up offa your rear end and do something.

Related Characters: Russ Stoller (speaker), Jim, Kenneth Stoller
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:

Bev: Well, you’re being ugly, and I don’t like ugliness.
Russ: — private matters, matters that are between me and the memory of my son —
Bev: I think his mind has been affected, I really do.
Russ: — and if the two of you want to talk about Kenneth on your own time, if that gives you some kind you comfort
Bev: And what’s wrong with comfort? Are we not allowed any comfort anymore?

Related Characters: Russ Stoller (speaker), Bev Stoller (speaker), Jim, Kenneth Stoller
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:

Now, Russ, you know as well as I do that this is a progressive community.

Related Characters: Karl Linder (speaker), Russ Stoller, Bev Stoller, Jim, The Younger Family
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:

Karl: It’s a colored family.
Jim: Sorry, don’t we say Negro, now?
Karl: I say Negro —
Jim: Well, it’s only common courtesy, and I’m —
Karl: — I say them interchangeably
Jim: — not trying to tell you how to conduct your business.
Karl: — and of course I said Negro to them — No I think we both know what you’re doing.

Related Characters: Karl Linder (speaker), Jim (speaker), Russ Stoller, Bev Stoller, Ted Driscoll, The Younger Family
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:

And fitting into a community is really what it all comes down to…Now, some would say change is inevitable. And I can support that, if it’s change for the better. But I’ll tell you what I can’t support, and that’s disregarding the needs of the people who live in a community.

Related Characters: Karl Linder (speaker), Bev Stoller, Jim, Murray Gelman, The Younger Family
Page Number: 64
Explanation and Analysis:

Karl: And what happened to love thy neighbor? If we’re being so principled.
Bev: They would become our neighbors.
Karl: And what about the neighbors you already have Bev?
Bev: I care about them, too!
Karl: Well, I’m afraid you can’t have it both ways.

Related Characters: Bev Stoller (speaker), Karl Linder (speaker), Russ Stoller, Jim, The Younger Family
Page Number: 66
Explanation and Analysis:

Bev: Francine and I have, over the years, the two of us have shared so many wonderful—remember that time the squirrel came through the window?
Francine: Yes, I do.
Bev: That was just the silliest—the two of us were just hysterical weren’t we?

Related Characters: Bev Stoller (speaker), Francine (speaker), Karl Linder, Jim, Albert
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:

Jim: —You do find differences in modes of worship. If you take First Presbyterian. Now, that’s a church down in Hamilton Park and I’ve taken fellowship there and I can tell you, the differences are notable.
Bev: Jim?
Jim: Not a value judgment. Apples and oranges. Just as how we have our organ here at Saint Thomas, for accompaniment, whereas at First Presbyterian, they prefer a piano and, occasionally…well, tambourines.

Bev: What’s wrong with tambourines?

Related Characters: Bev Stoller (speaker), Jim (speaker), Karl Linder, The Younger Family
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:

Russ: If you honestly think I give a rat’s ass about the goddamn—
Jim: Okay. Okay.
Russ: —what, ya mean the community where every time I go for a haircut, where they all sit and stare like the goddamn grim reaper walked in the barber shop door? That community?
Karl: My wife is two weeks away from giving birth to a child.
Russ: Where, Bev stops at Gelman’s for a quart of milk and they look at her like she’s got the goddamn plague? That the community I’m supposed to be looking out for?

Related Characters: Russ Stoller (speaker), Karl Linder (speaker), Jim (speaker), Bev Stoller, Betsy Linder, Kenneth Stoller
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:

And Francine walking in at nine in the morning to find him there. You be my guest, Karl. You go ahead and tell those people what kind of house they’re moving into and see if that stops ‘em, because I’ll tell you what, I don’t care if a hundred Ubangi tribesman with a bone through the nose overrun this goddamn place, ‘cause I’m through with all of you, ya motherfucking sons of bitches. Every one of you.

Related Characters: Russ Stoller (speaker), Bev Stoller, Karl Linder, Francine, Jim, Kenneth Stoller
Page Number: 92
Explanation and Analysis:
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Clybourne Park PDF

Jim Character Timeline in Clybourne Park

The timeline below shows where the character Jim appears in Clybourne Park. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
...but Bev’s phone call continues for several minutes. It is interspersed with Russ’s conversation with Jim, a local minister who has just entered through the front door. (full context)
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Jim is friendly and good-natured, joking with Russ about the state of the house. Russ, listening... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
...asks Bev if Karl is coming over. She ignores the question and starts talking to Jim about Karl’s wife, Betsy, who is very pregnant. As they’re talking, Bev remembers her earlier... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...the footlocker. Francine exits again, gathering her things to leave. Several times throughout the exchange, Jim repeats—to no one in particular—that he would help except that, as he said before, he... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Bev offers Jim lunch, but he declines. She jokes about Russ’s ice cream, and Russ responds, “can’t pack... (full context)
Alone again, Jim and Russ make small talk. Jim overheard Bev tell Karl that Russ was under the... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Russ and Jim then discuss the move, including the fact that it will shorten Russ’s commute to just... (full context)
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
...is clearly uncomfortable, and looks for Bev in hopes she’ll come back into the room. Jim tells Russ that Bev cares about him—that in fact, “everybody cares about [him].” Russ responds... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
Jim, hoping to comfort Russ, tells him his son was a hero to his country. This... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
...kitchen, and notes the mood in the room has changed. Russ has stood up, and Jim tells Bev he’s going to leave. Bev asks Russ what he did to offend Jim,... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
Russ moves toward the staircase. He tells Bev and Jim they can discuss his son, Kenneth, on their own time if it comforts them. Bev... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
Jim goes to open the door for Albert, Francine’s husband, who has come to pick her... (full context)
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
...wearing shoes and a shirt. Bev makes a comment but he ignores her. Bev and Jim turn back to each other. She whispers that she hoped two and a half years... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
...her speech is often difficult to understand. Bev over enunciates when she speaks to Bev. Jim knows limited sign language and so finger-spells a greeting to Betsy. She laughs and signs... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
...jokes aloud that she’ll need an umbrella, and Bev is happy to understand the joke. Jim responds that he must have rusty fingers, which Betsy doesn’t understand at first, and Karl... (full context)
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Karl tells Russ he has something he needs to talk to him about. Jim tries to leave but Karl says he thinks Jim’s insight could be helpful. Russ is... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
...the buyers of the Stollers' house are black—or, as he says, “colored.” As he speaks, Jim, Russ, and Bev talk over him: Jim is incredulous, and Russ calls to Bev. Neither... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Jim interrupts Karl, asking if he should be saying “Negro” instead of “colored.” Karl responds that... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...the community. Bev wonders if the family moving in has needs, but both Karl and Jim reject her condescendingly, saying she’s right in principle, but is ignoring the commandment to “love... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
As Albert and Francine prepare to leave, Jim intercepts them. He wants to know how they would feel moving into a neighborhood like... (full context)
...anyone, and keeps repeating how nice the neighborhood is. Bev keeps trying, unhelpfully to rephrase Jim’s question, until Albert cuts her off: he understands that Jim is asking how they would... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
Jim points out that the local church is more reserved than the First Presbyterian in the... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Jim rises to leave, and Francine asks Bev if it’s okay to go, but before anyone... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
...themselves. Bev becomes immediately agitated, and locks herself in the bathroom until Russ stops reading. Jim tells him to calm down, but Russ just swears at him. Karl is upset that... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
The room is stunned into silence for a moment. Jim suggests bowing heads in prayer and Russ threatens to punch him. Jim backs up and... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
...then turns on him, offended that Albert touched him in his own home. Karl and Jim take this moment to leave. Albert backs away from Russ, and Francine reprimands him. She... (full context)