Who or what is the antagonist in Baker's Blue Jay Yarn (What Stumped the Blue jays)?

  • Hi @Arnelius, welcome to Literature SE. Could you say a little bit more about what prompted this question?
    – Namaskaram
    Nov 6, 2021 at 21:52
  • @Namaskaram Hello. Thanks. Well I am creating a story mind map. I know the protagonist is the first Blue jay, but I have no clue who or what is the antagonist.
    – Arnelius
    Nov 7, 2021 at 6:39

1 Answer 1


In "Jim Baker's Blue Jay Yarn" (see Chapter III of A Tramp Abroad or as a short story published on its own), the protagonist is the blue jay.

In literature, the protagonist and the antagonist are typically human characters. In this story, however, the protagonist is an animal. The antagonist in a story is not necessarily something animate; it can also be a supernatural force, weather circumstances or even social norms. In this story, however, the "antagonist" is the hole that the blue jay attempts to fill with acorns. The blue jay says,

Well, you’re a long hole, and a deep hole, and a mighty singular hole altogether—but I’ve started in to fill you, and I’m damned if I don’t fill you, if it takes a hundred years!

Filling the hole becomes the blue jay's quest and the "heroic" nature of this quest is expressed in the "hundred years" the bird is prepared to spend on it. Eventually, the quest turns the blue jay into an object of ridicule when other blue jays find out that the bird has not simply been filling a hole but an entire house through a hole in the roof.

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