Pemberton’s Character Analysis
The novel “Serena” by Ron Rash is better understood through the character of the individuals in the story. Each character is defined more and more by the reactions he or she makes due to other characters actions. There are many different types of characters in Serena, some of which are portrayed as selfish, strong, smart, or even weak. George Pemberton is an important character in the book because of his wide spectrum of qualities and faults that vary throughout the story, and continuously tries to prove his worthiness to others. There are specific attributes about his character that force the story to evolve into the direction that leads to the unfortunate climax of his death. Pemberton’s role in the story ironically changes from villain, hero, and then eventually victim.
Throughout “Serena”, Pemberton is on a mission to prove that he is strong and capable to his newly wedded wife Serena. In the very beginning of the story, Pemberton experiences a confrontation with his, ex-lover’s father, Mr. Harmon. Mr. Harmon is aggravated with Pemberton’s actions of sleeping with his daughter without accepting the responsibility. Pemberton is then put on the spot, while his friends, employees, members of the town, and most importantly his wife, Serena are watching. Suddenly, Mr. Harmon pulls out a knife with the intentions of fighting or even killing him. This situation could have been avoided with simple words or help from his friends by reframing Mr. Harmon, but unfortunately was not. Pemberton even told Mr. Harmon’s daughter, Racheal to take her father home, but her father was persistent with wanting settling the dispute then and there. Even though this could have been a choice Pemberton had, it was taken away when Serena agreed with Mr. Harmon and says “He’s right, Get your knife and settle it now, Pemberton.” At this point, Pemberton could have done one of two things: look like a coward by calming Mr. Harmon down or prove...
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