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Lady Marguerite Blakeney in the Scarlet Pimpernel

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Lady Marguerite Blakeney in The Scarlet Pimpernel Baroness Orczy's novel, The Scarlet Pimpernel, took place during the gruesome French Revolution, as French aristocrats were being relentlessly brought to death. When several started strangely disappearing, it was said that the Scarlet Pimpernel, a notorious, devious hero, aided them in their escape. Inevitably, the fate of this elusive stranger became entangled with an admired, beautiful, and stylish woman named Marguerite Blakeney. As the story progressed, readers learned about her character and how it was developed, how her personality changed, her conflicts, and how she dealt with them. Throughout the novel, readers learned about Marguerite as Orczy developed her through mainly indirect characterization. Readers observed her thoughts, actions, and feelings to depict her personality. For example, they did not come to the conclusion that Marguerite cared greatly about her brother, Armand, because it was stated directly. Instead, readers noticed how much she was worried about him, and how far she went to ensure his safety (Orczy, 83, 8). Nevertheless, Orczy did not only use indirect characterization. When she depicted Marguerite's status or appearance, she characterized Marguerite directly. ...read more.


Although she did undergo a change, Marguerite's transformation was somewhat exaggerated, as there were misconceptions about her in the beginning that were later clarified. For example, when the public gossiped about her condemning a family to death, it was merely a huge blunder that she did not mean to turn out so harshly (34, 2). Secondly, she was supposedly conceited, because she married Sir Percy only to have a husband who would admire her, and to be foolish enough to make her his center of attention (56, 1). However, readers later discovered that she married him because she hoped that his love for her would instigate a love for him in her heart (132, 5). Thus, readers soon understood that behind every illusion, there was more to the story, and that on the inside, Marguerite was not an immoral person. In this novel, Marguerite had enormous personal conflicts. Her first one was when her husband neglected her, after a misunderstanding about her sending a family to death. He put on a mask, and became someone completely cold and indifferent (135, 3). ...read more.


Her one action, which was shrieking to alert Sir Percy and Armand to run, did not accomplish anything either (243, 2). Earlier, she was so determined to take action, but in the end, she merely moped about her difficult situation and stepped back, leaving the dilemma to be resolved by other means (159, 5). In summary, Marguerite did not handle conflict well in any way, because she either solved the problem poorly, or did not even solve it. Since Marguerite did not play a big part in the overall conflict, she was mostly used to narrate the story. Readers viewed the story from the feelings and thoughts in her perspective, making the story narrated in third-person-omniscient, as opposed to third-person-limited or third-person-objective. An example would be how her feelings towards Sir Percy caused readers to respect him, and how her thoughts about Chauvelin influenced readers to fear and hate him. It was also her feelings that gave the story more depth, and made it more lively, suspenseful, and romantic. Orczy's written language, detailed and equipped with strong verbs that fit the purpose of her writing, additionally added to these, making her novel an enthralling and outstanding read. ...read more.

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