As fans of Sons of Anarchy know, Jax Teller is a complex and intricate character who is faced with a swarm of personal struggles throughout the series. As the vice president of the motorcycle club known as the “MC” and the heir apparent to the presidency, Jax is tasked with leading the group and making difficult decisions that have far-reaching consequences for both himself and those around him. However, despite his position of power and influence within the club, Jax is a deeply troubled and tragic figure who is wrestling with his own personal demons and the weight of his responsibilities.
One of the key personal struggles faced by Jax is the tension between his loyalty to the club and his desire to do what is right. As he famously says in season three,
“I’m trying to do what’s best for the club. And sometimes that means doing things I don’t want to do.”J.T.
This quote speaks to the complex and often conflicting nature of Jax’s role as a leader within the MC. On the one hand, he is deeply committed to the club and will do whatever it takes to protect its freedom and solidarity. On the other hand, he is also a deeply moral and ethical person who is troubled by the corruption and violence that are often necessary to maintain power within the club. This conflict is a constant source of inner turmoil for Jax, and it is one of the central themes of his character arc throughout the series. This internal conflict can be seen as a reflection of the complexity of the human condition, as it touches on the duality that exists within all of us. As philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once said, “Man is condemned to be free.” In other words, we are all faced with the challenge of balancing our own personal desires and goals with the demands and expectations of the world around us. This is something that Jax struggles with throughout the series, as he tries to reconcile his loyalty to the club with his own personal values and beliefs.
Another personal struggle faced by Jax is the challenge of balancing his responsibilities to the club with his own personal desires. As the leader of the MC, Jax is expected to put the needs of the group above his own personal interests. However, this can be a difficult task, as Jax is a complex character who has his own desires and goals. He is torn between his duty to the club and his own personal ambition, and this conflict is a constant source of stress and frustration for him. In season four, Jax says,
“I’m trying to take this club in a new direction, but every time I do, I feel like I’m betraying my old man.”J.T.
This quote speaks to the deep-seated guilt and conflict that Jax feels as he tries to lead the club in a new direction while also honouring the legacy of his father, John Teller.
This struggle can be seen as a reflection of the philosophical concept of the “courage of one’s convictions,” as popularized by philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. According to Kierkegaard, true courage is the willingness to stand up for one’s beliefs and values, even in the face of opposition or adversity. Jax is faced with this challenge throughout the series, as he tries to navigate the complex and often treacherous world of the MC while also staying true to his own personal beliefs and values.
Jax is also faced with the complex moral and ethical dilemmas that come with political leadership. As the leader of the MC, he is expected to make tough and often unpopular decisions that may not always align with his own personal values. This can lead him to question his own beliefs and principles, and it can also put him at odds with other members of the club who may disagree with his decisions. In season five, Jax says,
“I never wanted this life for myself. But I’m in too deep now. And the things I’ve done to protect the club, they’ve just torn us all apart.”J.T.
This quote speaks to the heavy burden of responsibility that Jax bears as the leader of the MC, and the difficult moral and ethical choices that he is forced to make in order to protect the group.
These moral and ethical dilemmas can be seen as a reflection of the concept of “the ends justify the means,” a phrase popularized by philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli. According to this philosophy, it is sometimes necessary to engage in immoral or unethical actions in order to achieve a greater good. Jax grapples with this idea throughout the series, as he tries to determine what is right and wrong in the pursuit of protecting and leading the MC.
In addition to these personal struggles,
Throughout the series, he grapples with the legacy of his father, John Teller, who was the founder of the MC and a deeply troubled man. Jax’s relationship with his father is a complex and often fraught one, and it serves as a constant source of conflict and stress for him. Jax is also dealing with the trauma of his mother’s death, which was a deeply traumatic event for him and played a significant role in shaping his worldview.
These personal demons can be seen as a reflection of the philosophical concept of “the unexamined life,” a phrase popularized by philosopher Socrates. According to Socrates, it is only by examining and acknowledging our own personal flaws and weaknesses that we can truly understand ourselves and grow as individuals. Jax’s struggles with his father and the trauma of his mother’s death serve as a catalyst for him to examine his own life and the decisions that he has made, and they ultimately play a significant role in his character arc throughout the series.
In conclusion, Jax Teller is a complex and multi-layered character who is faced with a multitude of personal struggles as he navigates the complex and often treacherous world of the MC. His struggles with loyalty, responsibility, and morality serve as a commentary on the nature of political leadership and the difficulties of navigating the tensions inherent in any political institution. Jax’s personal struggles are a central part of his character arc throughout the series, and they serve to make him a rich and nuanced character who is well worth watching. So, if you are a fan of Sons of Anarchy, then you should definitely not miss out on the tragic hero that is Jax Teller.