Reply To: Lesson 3 The Role of External Challenges, Escalation

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Ruchama
Participant

I have returned.  Here is my Exercise #3 for Rebecca. (BTW the ending does have Daniel and Rebecca leave for exile together.  I’m considering having a playful epilogue giving some possible fates of all the main and supporting characters, including possible exiles to the Unites States (where the Quakers in Pennsylvania have preserved the Scott family’s land there (the reason the Baronet was in the American War of Independence) was to protect the land his father was awarded as a result of his service during the “Seven Years War” aka French and Indian War. Another possibility is to send them to Palestine (I’ll need to see if that’s historically possible.)

Exercise #3 Rebecca Lavaigne’s External Challenges

Rebecca is a French Jewish POW paroled to Baronet Scott, a Scottish veteran of the War of American Independence (fought with the British Roger’s Rangers) ; his son Andrew was an officer in the British Cavalry and was lost and presumed dead in one of the Peninsula battles; the same battle during which Rebecca was captured by the British. They did not meet then.

Her primary flaw is Anger; She makes decisions based on intuition an feeling, not logic.
She is an idealist and passionately loyal.
Her Jewish identity and values are central to her sense of herself.

She is determined to escape from the British and return to France to find out what happened to her twin, Isaac, who was separated from her when she was captured. She begins by hating the British and having nothing but contempt for them, having seen the the British soldiers at their worst during a nightmare retreat across the mountains in December, 1808-January 1809. She promised her dying mother when she and her brother were 15 that she would always take care of him. They joined Napoleon’s Army as cantinieri, pretending to be husband and wife (cantinieri women were required to be married and accompanied by their husbands—to avoid the phenomenon of army “camp followers,” often prostitutes, common in the 18th and 19th century armies.

Because this is a romance, her need is to be able to love and be loved. This cannot happen until she is able to make peace with her British Enemy. She struggles to avoid what she views a compromising her integrity (a primary value for her) by accepting the kindness and generosity of the family and finally the love of Daniel.

Ironically, this will be accomplished when she reluctantly agrees to help Andrew regain his mental health in exchange for Daniel’s promise to find her brother and because she fears her parole will be terminated and she will be sent to a prison hulk or dungeon (both in use at the time). Andrew has been concealed on the Scott estate because of his PTSD and grotesque scarring. His presence is only revealed to the servants (and hence the world) when he enters Rebecca’s room and she shoots him with her small “lady’s pistol” (appeared in the first act—thank you Chekov 😉 ). Ultimately, because she and Andrew share common experience that bond as enemy soldiers often do once their wars are over. The reader may see this relationship as a possible romance. Daniel will become jealous (not that he will admit it). This will be a hint at his developing love for Rebecca. It will also appear that Andrew may be able to save Daniel from converting and also from marrying Mary Bennington. However, Andrew dies, making Mary even more determined to have Daniel marry her asap.

Daniel rescue’s Rebecca from being captured during a failed (because of betrayal) escape attempt and the two realize their love for each other. Rebecca insists that Daniel cannot even speak to her of his feelings without his father’s blessings. She now has loyalty to the Scott family and her values honoring parents. Baronet Scott believes the marriage is set to take place and is thrilled.

To be true to herself she must refuse Daniel’s love. This means losing him to her rival and seeing him “marry out.” Marrying a gentile, Daniel ensures that his descendants will not be Jewish. This is a serious issue for both Rebecca and Daniel.

Comments and guidance appreciated

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