I’m pondering over a story protagonising a teenage boy against the backdrop of the most recent global economic crisis. Domestic background would be former solid and seemingly (not only but also financially) secure middle class skidding towards serious struggles for existence after the father has lost his job. Now, asking myself what emotional reactions this existentially traumatic experience could evoke in my character, what his attitude towards life could be at the point I pick up the story, I end up having two aspects revolving my mind: - Battling against the waves - Resignation - Battling against the waves would come with a lot of probably almost compulsive effort to hold together what’s about to fall apart completely: life as he knew it. It would make him a very energetic and active person, shouldering responsibilities that his parents probably have let slip already. Or they might have accepted the new situation and adapted to it already… The protagonist’s development task might be to accept outside help (like from a teacher or youth welfare or whatever…). Or to learn to part with something, and let go of his old life and accept the new one. - Resignation on the other hand would mean disillusionment and hopelessness. It would derive from the bitter experience that even if you’re a well educated, reliable, honest and hard-working person, your whole life can still go to pieces from one day to the next. You’re not in control of your destiny but at the mercy of some erratic, rapacious deity called (for example) global economics… Resignation would come with lethargy and indifference, with a ´what’s the point` or idgaf kind of attitude. He’d be like ´why bother if everything goes down the tubes sooner or later anyways…? I definitely prefer the second approach to the first because I have a soft spot for the broken hero. On the other hand it makes the dramaturgical setup way more difficult. First off that kind of character doesn’t have any obvious intrinsic goals so he has to be forced to ´want` something an in the course of obeying find out that he very well ´wants`… And for this particular case, I find it really hard to prove him wrong. I mean, life’s a professional woman indeed, isn’t it? And human beings ARE at the mercy of countless sinister higher powers…So in a way you can just say, yeah, man, lean back and decay alive…that’s what it boils down to at the end of the day anyways… So what could be his inner development task? To learn that you can beat the sinister higher powers after all if you’re just being a good boy and try hard enough? Yuck, no, it’s way too obvious that you can’t and he would have to be pathetically stupid if he came to that conclusion…that would be ´7th Heaven`-material and that series caused me nausea all along… Or to learn nothing at all and go down without a fight? Not much to tell about, then, is there… Or probably to learn a ´the way is the goal` kind of lesson? That it’s worth flying even if you might crash? That motion is autotelic? An end in itself? Writing all this I can see that I’m definitely going for the resignation option, but I not yet clear about where he’s heading – externally as well as internally. I would very much appreciate your opinion and your input on that case! Thank you in advance for your time and effort Regards JB Oh, and just in case anybody bothers to engage in this thread (or any conversation with me at all): Please feel free to express your opinions on whatever I write pretty much point-blank. I’m not here because I’m looking for polite phrases or even flatteries. As I said elsewhere: I’m hoping for constructive criticism. So, no need to pamper me or anything. I’m a grown up person, I can put up with quite a bit.