The Mosquito Coast
The Mosquito Coast depicts the story of an unstable, antisocial
individual whose unsubstantiable paranoia causes him to dramatically alter the
courses of his and other peoples lives. The mans continual fear of a nuclear
invasion by an irate, immoral country eventually this man to move himself and
his family to a remote jungle area of Honduras where he planned to establish a
utopian society of his own design. Some themes that are conveyed through this
story are the ability of split-second decisions to dramatically alter anybody’s
life, and the inability of certain individuals to be able to mentally handle the
stressful life of western civilization.
Allie Foxx highly opposed the style of life which had developed in the
United States. He believed religions to be useless, and our government to be
corrupted, continually drawing the unwanted attention of other countries tactile
missiles. He saw t.v. and mainstream life as a form of mental poison. He
strictly raised his children to incorporate the same mental attitude which he
held. He saw himself as the last real man alive. The combination of all these
delusions eventually prompted him to relocate himself and his family to a
different country altogether, where he whatever lifestyle he so desired.
Charley is the thirteen year old son of Allie. He is naive to the
practices of modern society because of his fathers continual and insisted
sheltering from the evils of everyday life. He is very impressionable and sees
his father as the most brilliant man on earth.
Jerry is the ten year old younger brother of Charley. He enjoys
bettering his brother, and cutting him down. He puts on a guise of valiant
bravery, yet inside he is merely a frightened child. Although he immensely
respects his brother he is unable to relate these emotions for he views them as
The story begins on a farm in Massachusetts, but quickly shifts to the
primitive, remote jungles of Honduras. It all takes place during the early
nineteen-eighties. The setting corresponds well with the time period and the
main character. This period showed many leaps in technological advancement,
which Allie refused to be a part of. He instead chose to live a simple,
sheltered life. And the remotes of Honduras was essential in attaining this
type of lifestyle.
The dialogue of the natives in the story combined with the effects of
the harsh jungle environment make the author sound as if he knows much of the
style of life which is typical to the poverty stricken natives of South America.
He also seemed fascinated by the effects that unforgiving nature can have on a
group of people.
This story does an effective job of immediately fascinating you with the
unusual attitude of Allie Foxx, and from that point it never lets your attention
waver. It also is effective at stimulating emotions as you read. It shows you
unusual situations and encourages you to think of how you would handle such a
situation. The story also helps you understand why some people think the way
they do, although it seems so unrealistic and idiotic to you or I.