The Scarlet Pimpernel

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orth As A The Scarlet Pimpernel: Sir Percy’s Worth as A Hero In the novel The Scarlet Pimpernel, written by Baroness Orczy, Sir Percy Blankley is able to deceive those he loves in order to save the lives of those he barely knows. Leading a double life, he acts as a fool of an English lord in order hide the fact that he is really a cunning, elusive man who goes by the name “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” When using this name to do his good deeds, Sir Percy risks his life in order to rescue French aristocracy. Everyone regards The Scarlet Pimpernel as a hero– he has all the characteristics of a hero about him, and they are very strong in his personality. Sir Percy is also very good at disguising his hero’s true identity, although he did have rather oblivious people around him. He was a hero who did what he needed to do proficiently and did so without unnecessary violence. During the 1790s, The French Revolution was tearing apart France. Commoners killed the very people they were to look to for leadership. Those aristocrats had been irresponsible and had spent taxes frivolously and now the commoners wanted justice. In England at that time, things were much different. The people were at peace and society was moving forward. The stark difference between these places provides excellent settings for the book, helping the reader realize the cruelty of the French peoples’ endless killing, as opposed to the serenity and peacefulness of England. Sir Percy could be described as many things. One of these characteristics is selflessness. It is shown how even the people around him could easily tell of how he would gladly sacrifice his life for theirs– “She looked at Sir Andrew with eager curiosity. The young man’s face had become almost transfigured. His eyes shone with enthusiasm; hero-worship, love, admiration for his leader seemed literally to glow upon his face. ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel, Mademoiselle,’ he said at last, ‘is the name of a humble English wayside flower; but I also the name chosen to hide the identity of the best and bravest man in all the world, so that he may better succeed in accomplishing the noble task he has set himself to do.’ ” (Orczy 34). Another fine example of this characteristic is from the perspective of one whom he rescues¬– “But the Comtesse shook her head, still incredulously. To her it seemed preposterous that these young men and their great leader, all of them rich, probably wellborn, and young, should for no other motive than sport, run the terrible risks, which she knew they were constantly doing. Their nationality, once they had set foot in France, would be no safeguard to them. Anyone found harbouring or assisting suspected royalists would be ruthlessly condemned and summarily executed, whatever his nationality might be.” (Orczy 35). Comtesse finds it so uncanny that a rich Englishman would waste his time and risk his life for people with whom he has no relationship. This kind of rare selflessness is easily comparable to that of the classic Marvel superhero Captain America– each of them would willingly give up his life if it meant another might live. The Scarlet Pimpernel demonstrates his bravery very well. He is willing to got to France in order to save his wife’s brother– “ ‘You are not going to the North, I feel convinced… There is some mystery… and …’ ‘Nay, there is no mystery, Madame,’ he replied, with a slight tone of impatience. ‘My business has to do with Armand… there! Now, have I your leave to depart?’ ‘With Armand?… But you will run no danger?’ “Danger? I? … Nay, Madame, your solicitude does me honour. As you say, I have some influence; my intention is to exert it before it be too late’ ” (Orczy 136). He is unafraid to go to Armand’s aid, which the reader can find as extraordinary, seeing as how he would have to go up against the deadly French agent M. Chauvelin. He also sees the fact that his wife needs him to take action as an honor, and he carries out her requests with pride– “ ‘You will...
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