Study Guide

Rachel Harmon in Serena

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Rachel Harmon

Poor Rachel. She thought she was in love, but before she knows it, she's saddled with a baby to care for all by herself. Try as she might to be indifferent toward little Jacob, she loves the kid to bits. After she gets a fever, the doc tells her:

"You cut up your feet pretty good, but nothing deep enough to need stitches. That was almost a mile walk and you sick as him, and barefoot to boot. I don't know how you did it. You must love that child dear as life." (9.31)

Indeed she does. That's why she's willing to go on the run—all the way to Seattle—to save the kid's life. It doesn't matter how hard it is, she does it for Jacob. Does that remind you of anyone?

It's remarkable how similar Rachel and Serena are if you stop to think about it. Sure, Rachel doesn't have the brutal murderer thing down like her nemesis, but we do see a similar strength in the two gals. Rachel cares for her baby with little to no money and food, repairs her house by herself, and has enough perseverance to fill a stadium. Check out this passage describing her getting rid of a predator:

She turned the handle so that the blunt end was what she'd strike with. She aimed and swung and heard a crack. The raccoon quivered a moment and grew still. Rachel kneeled and worried the fish hook free from the raccoon's mouth. She looked at the fur, knowing if the raccoon had come a few months later cold weather would have thickened the pelt enough to sell to Mr. Scott. She picked the raccoon up by the tail and took it out behind the cabin and flung it into the woods. (7.45)

So maybe she has mastered the murdering thing. Okay, okay, we know a raccoon is a lot different than a human. We're just pointing out that Rachel is tough, just like Serena. In fact, we suspect that's one of the reasons Serena hates her so much—the girl won't give up or die. And unlike Serena, she uses her powers for good.

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