Daily Archives: November 24, 2016

Poldark Character Review: Ross Poldark

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about Poldark, both the books and the television series. Read at your own risk.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using Winston Graham’s series of novels, Poldark and the subsequent television series to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

Let’s start with the titular hero: Ross Poldark.

Ross is the son of an ancient family in Cornwall, England. At the beginning of the first book and the miniseries, Ross is fighting for the British during the American revolution. In love with Elizabeth, their relationship seems like it is on the fast track toward marriage. Then Ross is injured while fighting for King and country. He comes home to find Elizabeth engaged to his cousin, Francis, his father is dead and the mine that his income is derived from is in shambles.

On one hand, Ross is very much a member of the upper class. He knows what is expected of him and knows how to act. But Ross is hot headed and stubborn. While he can be honorable and does what is right (even if it goes against the law, i.e. the beginning of book 3 and Series 2), he can also act very stupidly. In Book 4 and series 2, Francis dies in a mine accident. The previously dormant feelings Ross had for Elizabeth flicker back to life, nearly breaking up his marriage to Demelza and forcing him to do the unthinkable to Elizabeth when he learns that she is to marry George Warleggan.

To sum it up: Ross Poldark feels alive to the reader because this character is full of contradictions. Though he is a part of the upper class, he appreciates, respects and stands up for the people who do not have his advantages. He can be a bit foolish and headstrong,  but he tries to do what is right.

As writers, we have to approach our characters from not just one or two traits, but a mixture of good and bad. Ross is honorable and tries to do what is right, but sometimes falls victim to impetuousness. No one is wholly good or wholly evil. Winston Graham created a hero who feels alive and real because he is human and therefore imperfect.

This is the first post of what I hope will be a weekly series. Any suggestions to improve this series of posts are greatly appreciated, feel free to leave comments in the comments box below.  

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Filed under Books, Character Review, History, Poldark, Writing

Throwback Thursday-Little Giants (1994)

There is nothing like having a sibling. It’s the most complicated of human relationships.

In the 1994 movie, Little Giants, brothers Kevin and Danny O’Shea (Rick Moranis and Ed O’Neill) are as different as night and day. Danny is the nerd and Kevin is the jock. Kevin is the coach of the local kids team and has dreams of taking his team to the championship. When Danny’s daughter is rejected from the team because she is a girl, she and the others who were rejected start a team of their own. The problem is that what they lack the skills and the enthusiasm to succeed.

Only one team can represent their town. Which team will win and represent the town in the championship?

This movie is about the underdog. It is also about a small, but important step on the road to feminism, a girl not only playing a traditionally male sport, but also leading the team.

Do I recommend it? If your 12, yes. If your older, maybe not.

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Filed under Feminism, Movie Review, Movies, Throwback Thursday

Dear Donald Trump: An Open Letter From A Democrat To The Republican Presidential Elect

Dear Donald Trump

You won the election. As much as I would have loved to say the words, Madam President, it was not in the cards, at least not for this election.

We have to talk.

But before I get into the things that I disagree with you about, I need to thank you for some things:

  • Supporting Israel. Israel is one of our greatest allies and the only true democracy in the Middle East.
  • Not repealing the gay marriage act. It is the most important civil rights legislation of this generation.
  • For keeping the parts of Obamacare that work. While I can certainly attest that Obamacare has its problems, when it works, it works.

Now I need to get to the reason for this online conversation.

  • Steve Bannon. This man is dangerous and scary and represents what we need to fix in this country.
  • Mike Pence. His extreme discriminatory law against the LGBTQ community and the scary and antiquated anti-abortion law have honestly sent shivers down my spine. As much as I disliked George Bush Jr when he was in the White House, I don’t recall that he went as far as Mr. Pence did.
  • The Hamilton incident last week. It was not a personal attack on your potential policies or your Vice President, it was simply a group of citizens speaking their mind.

 

 

  • Your twitter rants. Being Presidential means having a thick skin and not attacking everyone who disagrees with you. If every President since George Washington responded with the same fervor to every citizen who publicly disagreed with them, they would have barely lasted a day, much less  4 or 8 years as President.
  • Your anti abortion stance. Frankly, sir, it is quite scary. You have a wife, daughters and granddaughters. While they are lucky to have the financial support should any potential future pregnancies turn for the worst, there are millions of American women do not have that financial backing. Defunding Planned Parenthood would be disastrous for these women, who use Planned Parenthood for more than abortion.
  • Your attacks on the press. Freedom of Press is one of the cornerstones of our country and our democracy. We have the right to use the press to openly disagree with our leaders.
  • Your anti-immigration policy. Unless you are Native American, you are an immigrant. Someone in your family at some point in history made the decision to leave the land of their birth and take their chances in America. America is made of immigrants. Your statements, frankly scared many people, myself included.

That sir, is the end of this online conversation. You will be President, I wish you luck.

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Filed under Feminism, History, Politics