THE DAIN CURSE
By: Dashiell Hammett

Qualities are very important in relating to a character in a
novel. When the character’s qualities are revealed it lets the reader
see the many facets, or different sides of the character’s personality.
During the course of a novel the main character displays many
important qualities. These qualities may be good or bad, and may
change throughout the novel. These changes may be attributed to
or be a cause of events in the story that make the character
different. Characters can change in many different ways and it
may or may not affect the story but will still be very apparent.
The change can affect the story by the decisions the character makes
and how (s)he acts towards others. The change may be a nuance ,
or slight change, in personality, or a limpid change, being
completely and obviously different. No matter what degree of
change the story will be affected by it and the qualities of the
character will be different.
In the novel THE DAIN CURSE, the main character that
changes the most is Gabrielle Leggett. Gabrielle is a young woman
with many problems. These problems are not apparent in the
beginning of the novel but accrue as the plot thickens. The gradual
increase of these problems reveal many hidden long-time secrets.
Gabrielle is like a fly tangled in a web of lies and deceit (simile).
Her family secrets are slowly being revealed and her fate is being
realized. She is doomed into the “ Dain Family Curse “, which
means she will grow up to lie to everyone she knows about her past
and kill many of them. She does not want to be associated with
this curse but it has been in her life since the day of her conception,,
while she was in the womb. The curse walks, sleeps, and breathes
with her (personification) and is with her all the time. Gabrielle
knows no other life than the curse, it is all she knows to believe as if
she is brainwashed. Gabrielle, therefore, shows her gullibility and
co-dependence for others words. She lets the mentality of the curse
run her life, and she is miserable, becoming addicted to morphine.
There is a turning point in the story for Gabrielle, however. It
occurs when ( the main character, name not mentioned (narrator) )
the detective is put in charge of watching her. He helps her realize
that she can stop the curse and work her way into reality. She is
very doubtful at first but her outlook and attitude change, when she
realizes she can take control of her life. The detective helps her get
“off “ the morphine and she sees life in a whole new perspective. It
takes hard work and perseverance but she is changing majority.
She is no longer warped and cynical, she has opinions and
strength and takes control of her fate. She no longer believes only
what others tell her, she has her own opinion, and begins to trust
people. Gabrielle especially trusts the detective, who persuaded her
out if her drugged lifestyle. He promised and coaxed her that he
would help and when he followed through she began to trust, which
led to several other positive changes. Gabrielle is now showing
qualities she never knew she had. The new Gabrielle, the butterfly
out of it’s cacoon, (metaphor), is a completely different person than
in the beginning, and it shows.
Qualities are very important in a story. When qualities of a
character are shown the reader gets a better understanding of the
character. The main character of a novel possesses many different
important qualities. These qualities affect the story because they
may change from time to time. The changes may occur from events
in the story that make the character view things differently. When
the main character changes the reader is able to tell because of the
way (s)he then acts. A change in personality may be temporary or
permeate, the change may also be very subtle or quite obvious.
Depending on the extent, the novel will show these differences and
the reader will become aware of the change. Gabrielle changes
greatly in “THE DAIN CURSE” , and the changes are very salient.
The obvious changes that Gabrielle goes through have a great effect
on the story by taking control of her fate of the curse and running
her own life. Change is not always good but in the case of Gabrielle
it certainly is.