Monday, 3 March 2014

Carla and Jack

I've done a lot of work on both Carla and Jack in the last few weeks, creating character profiles and trying to learn as much about them as possible. It's been fun, and a real learning experience for me in that I've never done so much on individual characters before. I feel my portrayal of them is going to be strengthened by everything I learn about them.

Jack is 12 years old and from the 'real' world- at least, the world we recognise as most similar to our own. He's friendly and caring and likes playing football and making model towns out of cardboard. 

Carla is 13 years old and is from a small community in the mountains of the 'map.' Her best friend is a (talking) cat. She loves nature and playing the piano and doesn't really get on with children her own age.


What’s similar about them?
They both care a lot about their families and friends.
(Now) they both feel like they don’t fit in amongst their peers.
They both feel there is something really wrong and want to go out and try to do something about it.

What’s different?
Carla only thinks there’s something wrong with her parents, whereas Jack has realised that the problem is bigger than that.
Carla has a strong affinity with nature, whereas Jack has been brought up without this. As a result he has a tendency towards unintentional disrespect towards trees and animals etc.
Carla talks to animals, which Jack thinks is hilarious. Jack's fear of the dark is pretty amusing to Carla.
Carla knows nothing of the materialistic world. Sometimes she comes off as a lot younger than Jack, simply because of her more 'pure' upbringing. 
They are different in personality- Carla is quieter and more secretive, other than when telling her stories. Jack is like an open book.

When they first meet, what is Jack’s impression of Carla?
She’s wild, strange (especially as she’s wearing no shoes), pretty, feisty, darty, tricky. A little scary. She’s older and it seems like she knows what she’s doing. She’s in her comfort zone and when they set out on their journey she knows much more about what to do. She makes Jack feel shy. At the same time, he really appreciates having some company, and having someone who seems to have some direction or idea of what to do.

When they first meet, what is Carla’s impression of Jack?
She wonders what he is really doing, where he’s from and how he got there. She’s intrigued by his modern clothes and what he's carrying in his backpack. Once Jack says a bit about what he’s trying to find, Carla feels inspired by him to do the same. She thinks he’s older than he actually is- he comes across as mature and experienced to her.

At what point do they start to really like/appreciate each other?
They both start to like each other as they get to know each other. Carla appreciates the vulnerabilities it turns out Jack has, that she didn’t see at first (she saw him as older and stronger the she was).
Jack starts to really appreciate Carla’s flair for and affinity with nature.
After they see the graves outside the Old House and both get really upset. They learn a bit about each other and have to be strong for each other. Also inside the Old House is the first time either of them is really scared. As time goes on they get closer every time they face danger, such as when they get held hostage at the Village of the Red. They have an open talk when they are lying awake in their prison with Marnie and the others.

Do they ever admit this to each other?
Not in so many words, but yes, they end up knowing that they care for each other a lot.

What does Jack like/admire about Carla?
Her free spirited-ness. How she is so comfortable sleeping out in the wild. How she seems able to communicate with trees and rivers, able to get information from them. How she doesn’t see her talking to cats and fish etc as anything other than normal. That she doesn’t know how talented she is at storytelling and singing- she's not at all conceited, these things are simply a part of her being. 

What does Carla like/admire about Jack?
His bravery. His friendliness and ability to talk to people. His openness. His passion for life. How creative he can be. The fact that he is grown up for his age and that he sees things like she does; so different to all the children she was brought up with.

What about Carla makes Jack nervous, envious or annoyed?
When she laughs about his lack of closeness or understanding of nature. When she tells ghost stories (although it makes him most nervous that she might realise how scared he is- when she calls him out on it they have an argument).
He’s envious that she only carries the burden of her what to do about her parents on her shoulders- and not more.
He’s nervous when she gets too playful with him.  
Carla asks a lot of questions about Drail. She's curious and even a little enamored with the idea of it, which obviously annoys Jack because he knows what an awful place it has become.

What about Jack makes Carla nervous, envious or annoyed?
That he’s so wise, so world weary and old seeming (but in a good way). She gets really annoyed with him when he disrespects nature, and sometimes she thinks he’s laughing at her, such as when she starts talking to a fish. She's envious that he’s from Drail (or North West, as she calls it). She wants to know what it’s like, what was so worth her Dad leaving.

What do they bring out in each other or learn from each other?
They each feel strong around the other. They inspire each other to keep going and to feel they can succeed.
Jack has learnt that you can get a lot from nature and from animals, that they shouldn’t be ignored. That they are just as important as humans.
Carla has learnt that boys can be kind and thoughtful! That she doesn’t have to be scared to talk to people, that there is good in people. 

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