A character arc is the transformation or development of a character throughout a story and refers to the changes a character undergoes as a result of their experiences, challenges, and interactions with other characters. In the light of the above information, trace the character arc of Ausable in Robert Arthur's The Midnight Visitor, in about 120 words.
Answer as written by the student:
Ausable is a character who shows his cleverness and composure throughout the story.
- At the beginning, he is a fat and ordinary-looking secret agent who does not fit the stereotype of a spy.
- He is disappointed by his friend Fowler’s expectations of him and his work. He tells him that his life is not full of excitement and danger, but rather of routine and boredom. He also reveals that he is expecting an important report that night.
- When he enters his hotel room, he finds his rival Max waiting for him with a gun. He does not panic or lose his nerve, but instead uses his wit and imagination to trick Max into believing that there is a balcony outside the window and that the police are knocking at the door. He makes Max jump out of the window and fall to his death, while pretending to be calm and casual.
- He then tells Fowler the truth about the balcony and the police, and shows him that he is a smart and resourceful agent who can handle any situation.
Step-by-step explanation of the answer:
To trace the character arc of Ausable, we need to follow these steps:
- Define what a character arc is: a character arc is the transformation or development of a character throughout a story and refers to the changes a character undergoes as a result of their experiences, challenges, and interactions with other characters.
- Identify the main stages of Ausable’s character arc: Ausable’s character arc can be divided into three stages: disappointment, deception, and revelation.
- Explain how Ausable changes in each stage with examples from the text:
- Disappointment: In this stage, Ausable is disappointed by Fowler’s impression of him and his work. He feels that Fowler has imagined him to be a glamorous and adventurous spy who deals with mysterious figures, pistols, and drugs. He tells him that he is just a fat and ordinary-looking man who speaks French and German poorly. He also says that his work is not exciting or dangerous, but rather dull and routine. He tries to convince Fowler that he is going to get an important report that night, but Fowler does not seem very interested or impressed.
- Deception: In this stage, Ausable deceives his rival Max who has entered his hotel room with a gun. He does not show any fear or anger, but instead acts calmly and politely. He uses his wit and imagination to create a fake story about a balcony outside the window and the police knocking at the door. He makes Max believe that he has no choice but to escape through the balcony, while keeping Fowler in suspense and curiosity.
- Revelation: In this stage, Ausable reveals the truth about his deception to Fowler after Max jumps out of the window and dies. He tells him that there was no balcony at all, and that the person knocking at the door was just a waiter bringing some wine. He also tells him that he had ordered the wine earlier to celebrate getting the report. He shows Fowler that he is a clever and resourceful agent who can handle any situation with his composure and intelligence.
- Summarize how Ausable’s character arc shows his cleverness and composure throughout the story.