Character Analysis

Justine Cantin

Greetings! As you may have noticed, there are several other characters that have been introduced to us in the story. He is a complete description and analysis of them, as well as one for characters that have been there since the beginning.

Madame Leclerc is the host of the miner’s house in which Larry and Kosti live.

Larry is still living in Europe. He realizes he misses Isabel and he wants to leave Paris to take his mind off her. He goes to a mining village where he meets Kosti, his soon to be pal for the summer. They travel to Germany together to work on a farm but suddenly, Larry leaves when he accidentally sleeps with Ellie, a lady in the home they were staying in.

Kosti (also referred to as The Pole): A Polish miner with whom Larry shares a room in the mining village. He is described as an ugly man. He speaks Polish, French and German. A Veteran of the war, Kosti ended up in the mine because he plotted to kill Josef Pilsudski, chief of the army under the Czar’s reign. On the verge of being caught, he escaped to the coal mine to save his life. He is smart and does not want to be in the mine, since he is only escaping from his country. He likes to get drunk and when he does, he talks about mysticism, which is a state of mind where people believe they are one with the Absolute. He is macho and tried to get with Frau, but he soon realizes that she is into Larry.

Kosti is in a sad situation because he was an important man in Poland but ends up in a dead-end job, realizing no potential. On the other hand, he did plot to kill a man, so should he still deserve the reader’s pity? I suppose we would have to do further research on Josef Pilsudski to find out…

Mr. Becker is the German farmer who hires Kosti and Larry on his farm. He lives with his second wife, Frau Becker and his widowed daughter-in-law, Ellie.

Frau Becker is Becker’s wife. She is an orphan who has been adopted by Mr. Becker to work on his farm when she was 14. She married Becker not long after his first wife’s death. She is not very educated and she is jealous of Ellie, who shows off her knowledge to the guests. She has an eye on Larry, but Kosti had a “crush” on her.

Ellie was married to Becker’s son before his death. She is said to have “brought a good dowry with her”, which is probably what made her appealing as a wife to Becker’s son. She is an educated woman, but she is unhappy with her situation. She enjoys showing off her knowledge and education to Larry, in secret hope that he will have interest for her. This is why she comes in the night and sleeps with Larry, but he thinks it is Frau who has come to see him.

Paul Barton was Elliott’s prodigee. As opposed to his “master” at his age, Paul was able to enter society easily, which ignites jealousy and hatred from Elliott. This is why Elliott soon cuts contact with him. He is the character who shows the reader the transition from old to new society: you do not have to work as hard as before to access it. In fact, modern society has become more open, notably by letting noble people marry normal people (ex: shopkeepers’ daughters marrying princes).

Regarding Elliott, this part is a revelation for the reader. He escapes the new Paris to move to the French Riviera. There, he relives the Paris he once knew by receiving royalty and important European executives at his house. He also notices how most nobles are self-centered and greedy. They would accept anything from him, but they would do nothing in return if Elliott ever needed it. In this part of the book, we learn that Elliott is actually a descendent from the royal family. We also learn that he has been able to keep his fortune, despite the stock market crash, mostly because of the Catholic Church. He claims that the Church is ahead of anyone and advised him to sell all his american assets on the market. This is why he lives well despite the 1929 crash. We also notice that Elliott is extremely generous towards his family. Indeed, when Henry dies of a heart attack and Gray is broke, he offers his apartment in Paris to Isabel and her family for as long as they need it to get back on their feet.

Henry is in debt following the crash. Because he is too proud to see his clients lose their money, he decides to give them his to reimburse their losses, but he ends up broke and dies of a heart attack.

Gray goes bankrupt as well since he does not have his father’s knowledge and experience to guide him in the business anymore. He has to sell his home, lay off his maids and move with Isabel and their daughters to their plantation in South Carolina because it is the only place that they do not have to sell for the moment.

Mrs. Bradley dies.


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