Study Guide

Dark Matter The Jasons

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The Jasons

We thought that things were complicated when Jason2 was the only doppelgänger in town. Yeah, well, that dude doesn't have jack on the army of Jasons who invade the main timeline at the end of the novel.

These Jasons provoke some big questions about the nature of self. It's easy for Jason Prime (that's how we're referring to him for now) to distinguish himself from Jason2, as the differences between the two men are rooted in a single choice made fifteen years in the past. But these guys? They came into existence a few weeks ago.

Here's how Jason frames it: "This man and I were the same person up until a month ago. Which means ninety-nine-point-nine percent of our history is shared" (13.457-458).

This, of course, complicates things. Unlike Jason2, the Jasons are actually from the same home universe as Jason Prime—it's as much their home as his home. This paradox exists because they were created whenever Jason made a choice while traveling through the multiverse. And they all have the same goal: to reunite with his family. Their family.

That's not even the weirdest part. Despite their shared history, many of these Jasons prove themselves far more violent and brutal than our main man. Wouldn't they be more similar if they're basically the same guy? The novel doesn't exactly answer this question, forcing us to consider the implications of parallel universes on our own time.

But here's the thing: we believe there's a Jason Prime because, you know, we've been living with him as our narrator. But each of these Jasons is Jason Prime to himself, right? Like—how do we know we're the real Shmoop and not one of the infinite number of multiverse Shmoops? Or is there one real Shmoop?

Oh, boy. Chew on that one for a while, because our head hurts.

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