There came a time yesterday when I realized that the antagonist, Sarge, of Tale of the Cattail Forest was similar to the protagonist, Scrooge, of A Christmas Carol. It is fascinating how an antagonist and protagonist can be parallels. Then again, Tale of The Cattail Forest is a man vs. man story, and A Christmas Carol is a man vs. self story. I will try to explain why I believe that. I know for a fact that several readers will know exactly who Scrooge is: only those who have read my blog for some time know what Sarge’s situation is.
The most obvious similarity comes from Scrooge’s and Sarge’s family situation. Both characters do have unloving fathers and have neglectful fathers as well. These two characters are completely ignored by their fathers. As a matter of fact, there came a point in both of their lives when both of their fathers left them. Sarge’s father did leave him when he was only thirteen years old after being mistreated and abused verbally and emotionally from the ages of four to thirteen. Scrooge was left all alone- when his father went to get for him-his sister did want him to stay for just a few days; but his father ignored him. So both of them have horrible fathers. Both of these situations were part of why they are the characters they are.
I wanted to continue on to talk more in detail about Sarge’s father. His father is Marge’s father’s brother. The two fathers were raised by loving parents- so for some reason, one ended up becoming a loving father and the other this “monster”. At age four, the abuse on Sarge started on words alone, and it eventually became more physical. How physical would I call it- to the point where Sarge would have some permeant scars (that is part of his physical appearance in the book). Was there any comfort for him- he found it in “The Bog”- it was a playground for him. He was able to do slides down mud, make mud-pies; etc….= this was the only place his father never knew existed. Then ate age thirteen, his father left him with the toads to led (he did end up having an anger and attitude problem). He still had nightmares about his past- the nightmares turned out to be memories. He ended up becoming conflicted, confused, angry, bitter, and jealous about his past. He noticed how much better his uncle was treating Marge- so she became an easy target. All because of his past- he became this bully on the toads and later it affected the Fairy Frogs.
IS There Hope?
What do I mean by that? Is there a chance for both Scrooge and Sarge to change? They both redeemed themselves. I was surprised by Sarge: I thought he had a less than 5% chance. With Sarge, he did yell at Norg saying “NEVER MENTION MY FATHER AGAIN”- Sparkle, my protagonist, was around at the time. She was the one who helped Sarge- she deep down knew Sarge needed a father-figure in his life: it would be Aries. Sarge needed to remember that his life was not all bad. He needed to find ways to deal with his anger better: Sparkle showed him another way. So- literally Sparkle was only 12, who ended up helping out a 17 year old.
With Scrooge- he redeemed himself as well. It was through the three spirits that made him became a better person. It was at the beginning of the book where all he cared about is money; did not care about others; or understand the spirit of Christmas. So, through three spirits: the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future would teach him valuable lessons: the first (why he became the way he is), the second (the spirit of Christmas- this is when he actually began to feel compassion for the Cratchit family in particular to Tiny Tim), and third (what would happen if he did not change). At the end, he was able to celebrate in life’s emotions and get into the spirit of Christmas- he increased Mr. Cratchit’s salary and donated money to the poor and actually went to the party of his nephew.
I can’t believe I never saw the connection between these two. Sarge can be a hard character to write on page-I originally did not want him to change, but he decided to write part of the story, and redeem himself instead. Still- he can be challenging due to being this complex character: plus being the antagonist, a lot more focus would be on Sparkle.