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The Affects Of Setting On Character Development In The Book The Prisoner

1730 words - 7 pages

The Affects of Geography, Socio-economic Factors, and History on Marc Kilgour |
Aditya BhattacharjeeMarch 31, 2014ENG2D7Ms. McMulkin |


Imagine having to sleep on straw-stuffed mattresses on the floor while being haunted by the nauseating smell of rotting bodies and the continuous screams of prisoners being tortured to death. Imagine being forced to work for 11 hours a day and being given little to no food as a reward all the while being a victim of constant German prejudice. This is exactly what life was like as a Nazi prisoner in Germany during World War II. For the protagonist Marc Kilgour of the novel The Prisoner written by Robert Muchamore, life as a ...view middle of the document...

Marc has to live in unhygienic conditions while being forced to work and being given very little food. This has a negative effect on Marc’s character. His miserable life in prison leads him to feel that someone else is controlling his life and that he is of no worth. Marc soon loses his self-confidence and becomes insecure. At one point, he loses faith in life and tries numerous times to take his own life before any of the Germans can. All of these attempts, however, fail since Marc is unable to muster enough courage to do so. He soon realizes that quitting will not do him any good and so therefore, he starts devising a plan for escape. The plan is successful as he manages to escape his prison by outsmarting German authorities. The Germans soon find out that he is missing and send out a search warrant for him. Frankfurt is soon put under heavy military surveillance in hopes of capturing the escaped prisoner. This change of scenery forces Marc to adapt to his new surroundings. As a fugitive being hunted down by Germans, Marc becomes more vigilant and carefully inspects everything that happens around him before he makes any moves. He learns to make careful decisions because he realizes that one small mistake could lead to him being compromised or even killed. This is evident when the author writes, “The shed was such an obvious hiding place that Marc scouted the edge of the roof looking for a plan B” (106). Marc constantly doubts his opportunities and looks for alternatives to his plans. This type of attitude later assists Marc in his escape. He becomes more confident of himself because he believes that he has come too far to let his fears stop him. His insecurities soon become a thing of the past as his new surroundings force him to change his ways which later on leads to Marc escaping Frankfurt safely.
In addition to Marc’s past experiences, his socio-economic status also plays a role in developing his character. When Marc finally escapes to Paris, he is faced with another problem. He has no money to buy food, clothing, or even find a place to stay. He expresses his frustration when he mutters to himself, “…when it seemed life could get no worse there was always some new depth to plumb” (83). Marc had been through a lot in prison and the joy that he feels after regaining his freedom is soon dampened by the fact that he is broke. This time, however, he remains hopeful of his future as he knows that he overcame many tougher obstacles in the past. A sense of optimism develops in him. Even in times of desperation, he looks at the bright side of things despite having thoughts of resorting to stealing as that was his only way to survive. These temptations are shadowed by Marc’s determination to get his old life back. In search of money, Marc goes to the farm he worked in before he got arrested and asks for his old job back. Marc is assigned to do farm work that provides a reasonable amount of pay. It is when he works on the farm that he starts...

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