Mount Alvernia High School, Newton, Massachusetts

Meaghan  Coull
The Development of Characters through Courage, Strength, and Bravery The Collapse of the Weimar Republic
Mark  Helprin
Link to Senior Art Thesis
Mark Helprin, a post-World War I writer, uses character development to portray the reoccurring themes of bravery, strength, and courage. All three themes are evident in each novel because they show how extreme circumstances, including fighting in a war, allow people to realize their inner strength, courage, and bravery. He captures the thoughts of each and every character through these themes, and then places each character in a situation where he begins to develop as a result of these themes. In Refinerís Fire, the main character, Marshall Pearl, is followed as he dreams and tries to reconstruct his childhood. He begins to rise as a result of strength through what he has learned, suffered, and hoped. A Dove of the East and Other Stories is a series of short stories in which the character or characters face these reoccurring themes in a variety of ways. A Soldier of the Great War is a novel in which the main character faces many hardships which test not only his strength, but also his bravery and courage. Each novel depicts characters who develop throughout the story because of experiences with bravery, strength, and courage.

The Weimar Republic, the government of Germany from 1919 to 1929, was not a secure government and it failed in many ways. Many people throughout Germany wanted to see it collapse because the country was not prospering. They felt that Germany had survived for generations without being a republic and they had no need for all of this democratic nonsense now. Many believed that Germany should be restored to its full military might and that there should be an end to the harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles. Adolf Hitler was among the many Germans who felt this way, and in the midst of the troubles of the Weimar Republic, he began his rise as an infamous leader in Germany.

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