Jacobs Chicken is a story authored by Mils Macourek. It is about a creative child who draws a distinct type of chicken. The difference in the chicken is that it has a variety of colors. The picture is ridiculed by the teacher who goes ahead to rally children to laugh at it. Jacob’s chicken is depressed and flies out to an ornithologist who is carrying out studies on a bird with an unknown identity. Lucky enough, he finds Jacob’s chicken and takes it to the zoo where it becomes the centre of attraction. This chicken is given the name; ‘Gallina kaponi.’ When the teacher and pupils visit the zoo, they see Jacob’s chicken and shower it with lots of compliments. Laura, one of the pupils realizes that ‘Gallina kaponi’ is Jacob’s chicken, leaving the teacher in embarrassment. However, the teacher notices that just like in class, Jacob is not attentive at the zoo. He yells at him and accuses him of concentrating on a different subject that would instill anger. The author of this story applies various conversations in order to portray irony and repetition that are both essential in developing and understanding the whole story (Analysis of Milos Macourek, Jacob’s Chicken 1).
Tracing the voice of the teacher, professor, Laura and the cashier at the zoo is possible from the story. Every paragraph portrays a different voice. However, Jacob and the chicken do not speak throughout the story even though the reader can easily get an insight into their emotions from the conversations that are made in solitude between other characters in the story. This kind of dialogue with no quotation marks helps in creating an omniscience narrator whose voice is reinforcement to the already present voices in the story in order to portray the feeling of silence in some characters. Jacob is brought about as a silent and confused little boy who is not attentive in class. All this occurs in public through the sentiments of the teacher who is caught yelling at him when he fails to draw the chicken as required. The teacher again yells at Jacob in the zoo when he choose to shift his attention to s picture instead of the chicken that is already causing uproar in the museum (Macourek para 1-3)
There are three sentences in the story that start with the phrase, ‘‘a chicken is a chicken.’’ In the first instance, the teacher instructs students to draw a chicken because he holds the belief that everyone in the class has ever come across or had a close association with chicken. He says, ‘‘a chicken is a chicken, you all know how a chicken looks…draw a chicken.’’ Every child begins to tackle the assignment and use the available crayons to color what they think resembles a chicken. However, Jacob creates a bizarre picture of a chicken. The ironical part of this story is that the teacher instructs the pupils to draw a chicken in the way that they know it and ends up disqualifying Jacob’s chicken simply because it does not resemble the other drawings by other pupils (Respond to ‘’Jacob’s Chicken’’ by Milos Macourek 1). This points out that the teacher had a pre-conception of what was expected from the children and did not imagine about the creative thoughts that Jacob had, leading him to create the bizarre picture. Irony also occurs when the teacher refers to the picture as Jacob’s chicken yet is still in denial of the fact that it represents a real chicken (Macourek para 1).
Another instance whereby the author applies the phrase, ‘a chicken is a chicken’ is in the compound of the ornithologist. The man is furious for not coming up with a new discovery. However, he sees Jacob’s chicken and is pleased with its strange appearance (Tzshuielin para 4). It is ironical that the ornithologist realizes creativity in the way the chicken is designed and colored. It is the teacher’s duty to unearth the capabilities and talents in his pupils. However, this is different in the story since the teacher criticizes the drawing, which ends up gaining the appreciation of a stranger who takes it to the museum due to its uniqueness (Macourek para 2).
The phrase, ‘a chicken is a chicken’ is also used in the context is at the zoo. The author poses the question, ‘’who could fuss over a chicken…this one must be worth the bother for the entire zoo is in…uproar.’’ This indicates that the whole public saw the level of creativity and uniqueness that Jacob must have used in creating such a piece of art. It is ironical that at the zoo, the teacher recognizes and compliments the picture yet he had earlier on dismissed it when presented in class (Macourek para 3).
Repetition is creatively applied by the author through the use of the phrase, ‘’Jacob’s chicken really looks like a turkey, but then not quite, for it also resembles a sparrow and also a peacock, it is as big as a quail and as lean as a swallow.’’ This phrase is used once in every paragraph. These same words are used to give the implication of a different meaning depending on the tone (Respond to ‘’Jacob’s Chicken’’ by Milos Macourek 3). The first instance is whereby the teacher makes fun of the drawing in class. Here, the phrase is used to mean that the teacher together with other students are confused since the drawing fails to bring out their shared idea of what a chicken looks like, instead, it appears to be many forms of birds in one (Macourek para 1).
The second instance is whereby the professor, a renowned authority in ornithology examines the drawing from a scientific and analytical viewpoint. He uses his knowledge and skills in the academic field to describe and take note of the qualities of the drawing. Similar to the teacher, he applies the same words in describing the bird but does not criticize or mock the drawing. In fact, the professor is moved with the level of creativity and innovation applied by the architect in creating various possible outcomes from a single drawing (Macourek para 2).
The writer also uses the phrase in giving an explanation on the way through which the teacher admires the drawing at the museum. The teacher marvels at the artistic piece of the professor while trying to pretend that he does not realize that it is the same painting by Jacob in class. His comments sound sarcastic since he employs an appreciative tone in describing a picture that he had formerly criticized (Macourek para 3).
The writer has employed different writing styles in conveying his message to the reader. He shows how ironical people can be especially when the teacher acknowledges a drawing that he had previously denounced. It is amazing how the author has managed to portray three tones in different circumstances and make them work together towards creating the intended idea of the story.
Analysis of Milos Macourek, Jacob’s Chicken. Retrieved on October 1, 2013. From
Macourek, M. Jacob’s Chicken. Retrieved on October 1, 2013. From
Respond to “ Jacob’s Chicken” by Milos Macourek. Retrieved on October 1, 2013.from
Tzshuielin. My Analysis and comment on Jacob’s Chicken. 2011. Retrieved on October 1, 2013.