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

Home Forums MASTERING CHARACTER ARCS Lesson 3 The Role of External Challenges, Escalation Reply To: Lesson 3 The Role of External Challenges, Escalation


I am so grateful to you. Just engaging with you on these issues makes a huge difference.  On reflection I remembered the William Sloan Coffin remark about one’s virtues being more dangerous than what are considered flaws.  This is obvious the case with Rebecca. Her primary virtue is loyalty. Here’s an outline of how loyalty works in terms of arc, as I see the essence of arc.

  • Loyalty to deceased mother and Isaac sends her to Napoleon’s army with Isaac
  • Loyalty to her comrades in arms and to Isaac make returning to battle and finding Isaac  obsessions
  •  Obsession motivates her first impulsive attempt to escape the Scott’s without a plan
  • Loyalty keeps her from allowing herself to give in to her feelings for the Scott household and her attraction toward Daniel
  • When Andrew becomes a brother to her because of their bonding over their common war experiences, her loyalty to him competes with her preexisting loyalties
  • Her realization that she and Andrew have both participated in the same war, a war that wounded both of them,  her loyalty to her army comrades is destroyed
  • When Daniel promises to find Isaac, loyalty no longer requires her to try to escape
  • After Andrew dies, when Daniel and the other members of the household who have become like family to her are absent, Francois sends word and the necessary faked documents (usable only by her), loyalty motivates her to escape with him despite her competing loyalty to the Scott family and Daniel
  • When Daniel prevents the escape and confesses his love, her loyalty to the Scott family, including the Baronet who has never spoken to her, motivates her to refuse to accept Daniel’s love unless his father gives his permission, if not his blessing

Tricked into a third escape attempt by Mary, Rebecca does not reach the meeting spot; instead she returns to Daniel. Depending on one’s point of view, her loyalty to the Scott family and Daniel has replaced her previous loyalties; or she has chosen love over loyalty.



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