Loyalty Throughout The Scarlet Pimpernel
Created on May 8, 2023
By: Yves Shkolnikov & Pragna Kasa
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Marguerite: “...replied Marguerite, with a certain amount of gaiety, which, however, sounded somewhat forced…” (Orczy 46). As the first explicitly spoken interaction the two main characters in the book share, the line has a lot of influence on the readers and shows them how Marguerite and her loyalty start out. Percy: "Everyone knew that he was hopelessly stupid..." (Orczy 45). Sir Percy is well aware of his wife's opinion of his intelligence. She is smart and beautiful and lacks humility causing her to look down upon her husband and his abilities.
Marguerite: "She had but little real sympathy with those haughty French aristocrats, insolent in their pride of caste..." (Orczy 67). Marguerite did not like the aristocrats and their way of living; she thought they were deserving of the crisis in France. As this could also be viewed as a betrayal, she essentially "cheated" her husband's cherished views. However, she had a seemingly undying loyalty for her brother and his injustice, as explained by her spiel of hatred against the aristocrats, helping her earn the spot of 3.5 of loyalty on the graph. Percy: "She had but little real sympathy with those haughty French aristocrats..." (Orczy 67). Percy is implied to see Marguerite in a different way after he learns of her "betrayal". His own wife indirectly does not support the aristocrats he tries so hard to save, describing his portrayal of deception related to her.
Marguerite: “Only between these two hearts there lay a strong, impassable barrier, built up of pride on both sides, which neither of them cared to be the first to demolish” (Orczy 139). As implied in this quote, one of the strongest flaws and challenges of Marguerite and Percy’s relationship is pride and how it predominantly affects the loyalty of both individuals through its consequences. Percy: “Only between these two hearts there lay a strong, impassable barrier, built up of pride on both sides, which neither of them cared to be the first to demolish” (Orczy 139). Trust is a constant issue between Percy and Marguerite throughout the book causing flaws in their love and loyalty for one another.
Marguerite: “Why should he take all this trouble? Why should he – who was obviously a serious, earnest man – wish to appear before his fellow-men as an empty-headed nincompoop?” (Orczy 152). Marguerite starts to wonder why Percy was truly going through all this trouble and putting on a mask if he had no further motive than just his pride. Percy: "But it also strengthened her in the now certain knowledge that, with his worldly inanities, his foppish ways, and foolish talk, he was not only wearing a mask but was playing a deliberate and studied part." (Orczy 152). Marguerite had always viewed Percy as foolish. The only problem was that she didn't understand why, making it harder to form a trusting bond.
Marguerite: “I have naught to forgive, sweetheart; your heroism, your devotion…have more than atoned for that unfortunate episode at the ball” (Orczy 263). During Marguerite and Percy's reunion, she understands and is not shy to say she recognizes all of his motives and finishes their story as an undeniably loyal supporter of her husband. Percy: "The rest is silence! - silence and joy for those who had endured so much suffering, yet found at last a great and lasting happiness (Orczy 269). This quote describes Percy's and Marguerite's journey to understanding one another and the, albeit sometimes concealed, love they always had for each other.
Marguerite thinks Sir Percy is foolish and stupid. (Chapter 6)
Percy and Marguerite earn loyalty from the aristocrats and society, even though they have different motives. (Chapter 6)
After his wife's role in the death of aristocrats and his family, Sir Percy only has the slightest amount of love left for her. (Chapter 8)
Marguerite agrees to help Chauvelin set a trap for Percy to save her brother Armand, and Percy agrees to help Marguerite. (Chapter 10)
Percy and Marguerite have a raw, heartfelt conversation where they start to open up to each other, but both still bear pride. (Chapter 16).
Marguerite and Percy's last conversation and promises before Percy's perilous journey. (Chapter 17)
Marguerite starts to question her husband and figures out who he truly is. (Chapter 18)
In order to warn and save Percy, Marguerite risks her own safety to learn of Chauvelin's plan. (Chapter 27)
Marguerite and Percy reunite after a great deal of misunderstandings and escapades. (Chapter 31)