The author, J.D. Vance, has come from a broken home with many men who failed to fill the empty void his biological left him with. However, in the times he visited Kentucky, Vance found happiness and belonging within the hillbilly family; Vance states, “… I loved the Blanton men because so many father figures had come and gone but the Blanton men were always there.” This shows the Blanton men, along with other Jacksonians, have strong bonds to family and will willingly step-up and father their abandoned nephew.
There is no denying that Jackson has its problems, as do all other towns of every social class. When speaking of his cousin, Vance states, “She saw the worst of Jackson’s poverty firsthand and overcame it.” The author uses his personal experiences to show his point of view and deeply detail how he and others close to him have risen above challenges the town presents, such as violence, various health issues, and poverty. Not only does he mention the difficulties within the town, but he also illustrates the beautiful vibrancy of his home.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and of the author, the rundown shack he calls home holds some of the most incredible aspects of the Appalachian Mountains. Vance describes where he grew up, “Mamaw’s house was my favorite place in the world, though it was neither large nor luxurious.” The text illustrates the author’s childhood memories and how, even though he ignorantly lived in poverty, he still lived in a beautiful and exhilarating environment.
Though there are several obstacles within the poor town of Jackson, J.D. Vance uses the positive aspects of the Hillbilly culture to enlighten those who have negative biases towards the Appalachian people. The town’s misfortune can be overshadowed by the overwhelming beauty of the land and astonishing people who live there.