Texas Jim

Texas Jim is portrayed in very stereotypical terms, as the boot-scootin’, line-dancing, gun-toting, 10-gallon hat wearing, larger than life American with a tenuous ancestral link to Scotland through his great-great grand-pappy Angus.

Despite these Scottish roots and the sentimental evocation of the song ‘These Are My Mountains’, Texas Jim’s motives for coming to the Highlands are totally transparent.

Greedy

As the company of actors line up and begin to dance hoe-down , Jim grows frenzied with excitement at the prospect of the money he will make from his oil investment – Pipe those profits home to me. Jim is clearly already rich but he wants to make even more money, regardless of the impact of what he is doing.

Merciless

The pretence slips:

quote
Screw your landscape, screw your bays/I’ll screw you in a hundred ways.

Texas Jim will be merciless in his dealings with the people, the place, and the government, as outlined in the revealing rhyming couplet I’ll go home when I see fit/ All I’ll leave is a heap of shit.

At the end of Texas Jim’s section, the audience is left asking the question: ‘who could blame him?’ for making the most of an opportunity to make money:

  • Jim has no real connection to the people and the place
  • His detachment from the people allows Jim to screw the people in a hundred ways to gain profit.
  • Jim has little reason to feeling remorse about his actions

Jim is symbolic of new money flooding the area in light of the discovery of oil. His final assessment of the situation is chilling:

quote
the Highlands will be my lands in three or four years.

The entrance of the Aberdonian Rigger, who explains the difficulty in finding employment faced by locals, the harsh conditions and low pay on the rigs, and the incredible inflation of property prices in the city of Aberdeen, seems to confirm Jim’s assertion.

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