Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Character Sketch

“A human being fashions his consequences as surely as he fashions his goods or his dwelling his goods or his dwelling. Nothing that he says, thinks or does is without consequences.” -Norman Cousins. Raeanne lives her life day by day not once thinking about the consequences of her actions of the effects that they have on the people around her. In the novel Identical by Ellen Hopkins Raeanne chooses to have sex with not one, but three guys. Raeanne yearns to be loved, she wants to be loved in a more emotional sense than she'd like to admit because she can't survive on just physical love. Physical love doesn't truly exist without there being a sense of emotional love. I don't think that Raeanne understands that and she can't keep on living the way she does, throwing caution to the wind without a thought to her future.
The first guy she has sex with, Mick, she is mostly using for access to drugs but also so she can feel in control. The second guy, Ty, she uses to get any sort of feeling and to get back at Mick for flirting with Madison. “But getting of myself isn't the best part. I do everything in my power to make sure he gets off. And that puts me indisputably in control. (He thinks otherwise, and I let him.) It's the only time I am in control. And I like how that feel most of all.” pg 28. The third is her history teacher Mr.Lawler, with him I think that Raeanne finally realizes that she can't live off physical love and she really believes she's in love with him, no matter how immoral it is. Raeanne wants to be loved and to feel that she can be loved, she cares deeply about her sister Kaeleigh even though she is insanely jealous of her and her relationship with their father (which Kaeleigh loathes). “Kaeleigh closes herself off from Daddy. And I think she's completely insane, I crave his affection... why would my father be so taken with her but distance himself from me?” pg 19. Others view Raeanne as a slut, loser, stoner, and an easy to get vamp. Raeanne's only motivation it seems is to protect her sister and to be more like her sister so that her father will love her the same way he loves Kaeleigh, “The only person I want to be close to is Daddy, and he doesn't even see me.” pg 21. Raeanne views herself as fat, unlovable, usable, and disposable even though she acts all tough on the outside at school, and at home. “I'm strong.... a survivor... I can't... understand,... why I... crumble?” pg 46. Madison, Micks ex girlfriend, always seems to be sticking her nose where it doesn't belong and getting in the way, of Kaeleigh and Ian's almost-there-but-not-quite-relationship and Raeanne and Micks conflicted relationship, “Could be why she's hustling Mick now. When he was up for grabs, she couldn't care less about scratching his figurative itch. All it took was hooking up with me and out came her stubby little claws.” pg 38-39. As bad as Raeanne seems she does have some redeeming qualities. Even though the reasons for caring for her sister may be a little misplaced, she still cares deeply for her and would do almost anything to protect her, from the outside world and all its dangers as well as all the dangers in their own little world at home. If Raeanne had someone to teach her about love, not the warped love that her father taught her and her sister, but real love, family love, physical love, then she'd be able to change her ways and see that living life day by day can have some serious consequences.

“Inner demons, inner war./ I'm in the middle of it all./ Pulling myself together,/ Knowing all I'll do is fall.” -Author Unknown. Kaeleigh has to try to fight her inner demons day by day and struggles to find a reason to keep fighting. In the novel Identical Kaeleigh is faced with many hard choices throughout the novel, one of them being whether she should let Ian love her and if she can love him back. Because Kaeleigh was raped by her father, every time she lets someone get close to her - whether a physical or emotional connection - she has to fight the urge to run and hide, and push away the thoughts of pain from her past. If Kaeleigh could love anyone she would be fine, and could live a normal life; if she could forget her past and her father she could be a normal teenager. Kaeleigh yearns for love, not the physical kind because that much has been taken away from her by her father, but the emotional kind where she can really connect with someone. I think that without help from a professional or being able to open up to Ian or even to a friend she'll never be able to change or love anyone.
Kaeleigh wants very much to love Ian, and deep down she does and she knows it she just doesn't know if she can because of her father and the images that bombard her when she gets close to letting him in. “And I kissed him back, but only for a second because suddenly all I could see was a featureless face, with a wide, sour mouth coaxing, 'Please, baby. I won't hurt you.' Fear enveloped me, clasped itself around me. I couldn't shake free, struggled to find breath.” pg 35. She's afraid that her father will never let her out of his grip and she'll have to stay there forever. She's afraid that if she doesn't fight her inner demons and win then one day she'll just implode and no one will be there to clean up the mess, she'll just be left all alone to pick up the pieces of herself that everyone has walked all over. Raeanne and her family view Kaeleigh as a goody-goody, spineless little girl, “She's soft. Pliable. Gullible.” pg 20, but the people at school view her as basically the normal popular girl, “Call me powerless yeah, I know on a first glance I have it all. Looks. Money. Straight As. Leads. Popularity...” pg 29 Kaeleigh views herself as weak, small minded, unworthy, pathetic and powerless against her inner demons, “To be honest, sometimes I'm not so sure just who I am either.” pg 134. It seems her only motivation is to get away from her father and to learn how to love Ian and be loved by him in return, “I wish I were worthy of his love. (Any love.) I should tell him to run. But I can't. I need him.” pg 30. Kaeleigh feels that without love she can't really be anyone. Kaeleigh has some redeeming qualities as well, she is nice and caring and wants to change how she is and how she reacts to emotional closeness as well as physical closeness with anyone. Kaeleigh is just in need of someone to teach her how love is really supposed to be, not the warped way that her father has taught her, then she could fight all her inner demons and win instead of the everyday battle and she has going on inside her head, where every move has to be thought out and well planned so as not to screw up anything in the coming days, years, or the rest of her life.

By Jessie

1 comment:

  1. Wow!
    Excellent and appreciate the work to do two characters. Would have been easy to lose focus with such a difficult analysis but you kept each sketch narrow but detailed.