A hero can be a character who may seem like a villain but they are doing their best to try and help the main character. Jules is that character in this book. Yes, now you are thinking like “this guy doesn’t know what he is talking about.”. Just hear me out, what we have seen from Jules in his book is that he has a terrible addiction to heroin and this has been a pretty big driving factor in his life. Basically his life has been him and his daughter, which is Baby, going around doing drug deals to make ends meet. Ever since Jules got hooked on heroin his life has just been going on a steep decline. This lifestyle has gotten Baby and him evicted from many apartments forcing them to constantly move and Baby not being able to make friends for long periods of time. Finally Jules decided to make right with his life and go into rehab to get clean from the drug. But doing this forced Baby to go into the foster home without parents until Jules was deemed eligible to be released. But by Jules putting himself into rehab it was showing Baby that he wants to make things right in his life again.
Once Jules was released from rehab he was essentially forced to change his whole lifestyle. Now that we wasn’t on the drug he had a shorter temper which is quite common with people who are suffering from withdrawal from a drug. This can’t be easily controlled as these outburst of anger can happen at random for Jules. These outbursts of anger towards Baby make him seem like a terrible father figure to Baby but it is not his fault, like I said he can’t control his emotions in this time of his life. But Jules was showing more signs of improvement when he decided to get a job so he could have some money coming in to support Baby and himself. Baby even said “Poor Jules was under a lot of stress. […] we were living off little money he had stashed away in a bank account. He was constantly terrified of spending it all.” (O’Neill, 116). It wasn’t easy for Jules to find work because he had no education and considering his background with drugs not many places are looking to hire a guy like Jules unfortunately. But at least Jules was making an effort to try and stop this downward spiral that is happening in both Baby’s and his life. This attempt to improve their life is what makes Jules Baby’s hero.
Still on their path to improvement in their life, Jules and Baby moved into a new apartment when Jules got out of rehab. Even though things seemed to be getting better Baby knew that everything wasn’t fully right with her father. “But I knew it wasn’t just me because he was on bad terms with the rest of the world too.” (O’Neill, 93) Baby knew that this was going to be tough for her father after going that long of constantly using the drug, it would be tough for anyone. But since we have been given this picture of this heavy drug user that is Jules he is seen as a negative character in Baby’s life. But when Jules isn’t having one of his anger outbursts he tries to express his love he has towards his daughter in weird but cute ways. “We opened the kitchen door and he had his arms spread out, as if to say, Surprise! […] He’d heated up a couple cans of Chef Boyardee, but he had gone to light a dozen and sticks them in bottles around the kitchen, in order to make the whole affair seem fancy. […] For about five minutes I was happy.” (O’Neill, 98) people might say that Jules has no love towards his daughter but I think that he loves er more than anything else in his life and that’s why he is trying to change.
Jules’ uncontrollable anger can draw people’s attention away from the fact that he really loves his daughter and that’s why people will think I’m crazy for saying that Jules is Baby’s hero. But his attempt to try and make things better in their life shows Baby that good things are to come, that is why Jules is Baby’s hero.
O’Neill, Heather. Lullabies for Little Criminals: A Novel. New York: Harper Perennial, 2006. Print.