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Character Role Analysis

George Emerson

In an interesting inversion of the stereotypical romance, George is ultimately the less active member of the couple. Though he puts himself out there by kissing Lucy boldly (twice!), then declaring his love for her, he gives up rather fast and resigns himself to loneliness – as his father calls it, he “goes under.” Lucy is the one who must step up and fight for their relationship, a fact that George acknowledges readily at the end of the book, admitting to himself without bitterness that, “all the fighting that mattered had been done by others – by Italy, by his father, by his wife” (20.19). That’s why Lucy’s the Protagonist, and George is happily relegated to the honorable but less central role of Romantic Interest.