Conflict wasn’t her money. It was a lesson

Conflict is defined as a serious
disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one. Throughout the novel,
Jessica Thomas struggles with decision making and how to execute the plans in
the right manner. We see her starting struggle when Jess says, “Well . . . it’s
a big scholarship. But it doesn’t cover everything” (Moyes 20). Through this
simple statement, Jess expresses her need for help in making Tanzie’s dream of
going to St. Anne’s possible. Jess wants to make her daughter happy, but she
needs a little help, and hates to ask for it.

            Demanding
Tanzie’s father, Marty, for help Jess shows how much she wants Tanzie to have
this opportunity but when Marty says, “I’ve not even got a proper job yet.
There’s nothing going on round here. I’m . . . I’m only just getting back on my
feet. I’m sorry, babe, but there’s no way” she begins to realize she is going
to have to find another way to help Tanzie (Moyes 20). Jess begins to think
there was no way she would be able to come up with the money to send Tanzie to
St. Anne’s. Even though Jess bounces back from most situations, the doubt and
worry began to consume her thoughts.

            “Jess
knew what she would do. Of course she did. It wasn’t her money. It was a lesson
she had drummed into the kids: You don’t steal” (Moyes 62). Jess took Ed’s
money with full intentions of giving it back, but instead she stared at it and
thought about how this money could help pay for Tanzie’s school. This
particular conflict weighed on Jess’ shoulders and even though she knew she had
to do the right thing, she thought what if. Jess’ character is worried,
doubtful, and tempted. It is the temptation that makes her hesitate to give it
back and hold onto the money he had dropped. How do I pay for her school and
should I use this money I found or give it back are two major conflicts Jess
struggles with, but her reactions show how she is determined to find a way to
pay for Tanzie’s schooling.

            Speech
is defined as the expression of or the ability to express thoughts and feelings
by articulate sounds. Jess does not sugar coat her words or thoughts. She tells
things how she sees it because that is a part of her personality. Her words
reveal her feelings as well. When Jess says, “She won’t be wearing a prissy
uniform because she won’t be bloody going. I haven’t got a hope of sending her,
Nathalie” it is revealed that Jess has practically given up in finding a way to
send Tanzie to St. Anne’s (Moyes 37). Through Jess’ words her doubt grows in
her personality, but she does not want to let Tanzie down.

            Jess
cares for Tanzie and Nicky more than anything in the world and all she wanted
to do was make them happy, despite having to face her own conflicts. “Just keep
calm” is what Jess mutters to herself while driving an uninsured car (Moyes
82). Through saying this out loud she is reassuring herself while trying to
combat her worry. She does not want Tanzie and Nicky to see her scared and
worried so in saying this, not only is she comforting herself, she hopes to
comfort the children in the car as well. Jess wants to be strong for her kids,
even if she has doubt, she does only what she thinks is best for them.

            “Well,
there must be . . . Don’t worry Tanze. I’ll work something out” (Moyes 223). Jess
would do anything and everything to give her kids what they wanted. She did not
want to see them sad or hurt. If there was a problem, Jess would always tell
the kids that she would figure something out and it would all be okay, showing
how willing and determined her character is to keep a smile on their faces.
When Nicky says “Mum always told us that good things happen to good people.
Guess what? She doesn’t say that anymore” he reveals a major shift in Jess’
personality (Moyes 317). Jess experienced failure and loss heavily and as a
result, her character changed. Through doubt and worry, Jess proves to be
willful and determined. While hurting, Jess’ spirit falls, like one’s would
after losing someone they cared about. In her words, she reveals the nature of
her character whether it be doubtful, hardworking, or determined.

            Sin is defined as an immoral act
considered to be a transgression against divine law. When Jess picks up the
money Ed drops, her mind goes back and forth in whether or not to use it or
give it back. “Then she ran upstairs, pulled Mr. Nicholls’s money from its nest
among her tights, and before she could think she stuffed it into an envelope,
scrawled a note, and wrote Admissions Office, St. Anne’s in careful letters on
the front” (Moyes 67). Jess commits a sin without hesitation, but she felt as
if there was no other solution. Her character grew weak and submitted to the
temptation of using Ed’s money showing she did what she felt she had to do to
keep a smile on Tanzie’s face.

            A
Rolls Royce sat in the garage, untouched. The journey of getting to the Math
Olympiad would prove itself to be a rough one. As they set off for the
competition, Jess is pulled over. When Jess tells the police, “The car isn’t
insured. I’m not insured” she knew what she had done wrong (Moyes 87). Jess
committed another sin despite it being small, she knew the consequences when
she started the car. Although Jess is not insured she was willing to take the
risk of driving so she could get Tanzie to the competition. Her sin was wrong
but it reveals the lengths she is willing to go for her children.

            After
the sin was uncovered by Ed, Jess took a downward spiral. As they traveled to
the competition, Jess forgot about what she had done and as Ed and Jess began
to fall for each other she was blinded by her feelings for him. Jess’ feelings
that resulted from the truth of the sin is shown when Moyes says:

                        Here
was the truth of it: Jess felt the absence of Ed like a

                        thick
blanket, smothering everything. She missed his smile,

                        his
lips, his skin, the bit where a trace of soft dark hair snaked

                        up
toward his belly button. She missed feeling like she had

                        when
he was there, that she was somehow more attractive,

                        more
sexy, more everything. She missed feeling as if anything

                        was
possible. She couldn’t believe losing someone you had

                        known
such a short time could feel like losing part of yourself,

                        that
it could make food taste wrong and colors seem dull. (Moyes 323)

Jess is distraught at her actions,
but she knew that she had done the wrong thing. Throughout One Plus One, Jess is portrayed as a smart, determined, and willful
character who seemed to get through anything that was thrown at her, but once
her sinful act surfaced, her character fell along with her spirit. She was
genuinely upset and hurting over what she had done. She committed a sin,
knowing what would happen if Ed found out, and yet she still suffered the
consequences that triggered loneliness, hurt, and heartache. Jess’ sin says a
lot about who she is and what she is willing to do. Jess did everything she did
out of the love she had for her two kids, whether it was right or wrong, she
made her choices and dealt with the repercussions.

            In One Plus One by Jojo Moyes, the personality
of the characters are revealed through their conflict, speech, and sin. Sin is the immoral act that goes
against the divine law. Speech is the communication and expression of thoughts
through spoken words. Conflict, either internal or external, is the struggle
between two opposing forces in a plot. Jessica’s personality was shown through
her words, actions, and struggles. She is a strong-hearted mom who would risk
anything and do everything she could to keep her children happy. She stole
money, used it, and then spent days with the man she stole from and looked him
in the eyes and kept her sin secret. She told her kids everything would be okay
even if she doubted those words herself. She struggled in making decisions, not
knowing whether it would benefit her family or hurt them. Jessica Thomas is a determined,
willful, and brave woman. Her actions and speech reveal these very aspects of
her personality. “The only things Jess really cared about were those two
children and letting them know they were okay. Because even if the whole world
was throwing rocks at you, if you had your mother at your back, you’d be okay”
(Moyes 167).