Charlotte Rains Dixon  

Another Character Arc Post, Sort Of

So, I had plans to write another post on redemptive character arcs tonight.  I planned to write about Jenna Bush, who has a new book out about a young woman with AIDS.  It seemed to me that Jenna’s story told a classic redemptive tale.  It is always instructive for writers to study stories like this, and hers seems to have captured lots of attention.

She started out as a screw-up college student constantly getting busted for MIPs, moved on to become a teacher at an inner-city school, and finally, now she is the author of a best-selling book and newly engaged.

I read a good, if a bit name-droppy, profile of her in the latest issue of Texas Monthly, written by Skip Hollandsworth, who I met when I was at the Mayborn last summer.  And, yes, her redemptive character arc is impressive.

But she is the daughter of George W. Bush and tonight that taints any warm, glowy feelings I might have had about her.

Because last night we learned that a friend of my son’s died from injuries received in Iraq.  I don’t know the full story yet, and so I won’t yet talk about names or any other details.  His mother was an acquaintance of mine and I can’t even begin to grasp the pain she is going through tonight.

I’m stunned and I’m horrified and I’m grieving.

I’m sorry, but sweet little blond Jenna just isn’t very appealing anymore, seeing as how her father is a war criminal.

As he has often said, he has no trouble sleeping at night.  But yet another mother will be up all night long weeping and wailing.

I wish I lived in a country where mothers didn’t have to mourn their sons who were killed in a fruitless war.

0 thoughts on “Another Character Arc Post, Sort Of

  1. stan stanley

    Is it fair to judge a writers work on anything else than the actual writing. I was for a while in the eighties bigoted towards certain writers, which had nothing to do with their writing, till I put myself on the other side would I like to be judged on my crafts skill or lack of it ?
    I feel for your friends family, I have been through the same experience of losing a lot of my friends over the years all in the name of a country, I am not unpatriotic to my own country, but I would rather strive to building than destroying.

  2. Charlotte

    I admit, my response is purely emotional, and not particularly reasoned.

    So I have to also admit that you bring up an excellent point. I’ve known writers who strive to seperate themselves from their books, saying their private life is not as important as their work. However, I believe that when we read we fall in love as much with the author as the book. I wrote a post about this and of course now I can’t remember when. Anyway, I’m not sure if its possible for me to fall in love with an author when I vehemently disagree with her politics.

    Thanks for your comment, Stan, and for raising the issue.

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