Discover more from Letters To My Brother
Let's Talk About Jonathan
All That Is Common To Man Character Insights....
I am officially into draft number two for my second book. I’ve told myself the story. Now it’s time to make it coherent. The characters are taking better shape; they’re becoming more real. It’s an exciting process.
My intention is to continue a regular cadence here on Substack, but I have to choose where to spend my writing time. If there’s a lapse between posts, it’s because I’m making progress on the new project.
But for now, let’s talk about Jonathan.
Spoilers ahead for All That Is Common To Man:
Let’s start here:
“O beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.”
Shakespeare, from Othello
Jonathan wasn’t written as a massive force by chance. He’s a literal green-eyed monster, envious of his brother to the point he wishes him dead. Jonathan feels his whole life has been under Edward’s shadow. Without meaning to be too on the nose, he wants the life his brother has, and he’s willing to do anything to get it. He wants the money, the power, the recognition. He even ends up taking the one thing that should never be his; his brother’s wife. It’s not for love or pleasure. For Jonathan, it’s about the knowledge he’s taken something sacred from his brother.
Envy isn’t like greed because it wants to gather up everything for itself. It’s more that it sees what someone else has and feels a misplaced injustice. The envious person can only see what others have as that which should be rightfully theirs. They see the world as unfair, that the scales of fairness are unbalanced, favoring others over them. They become bitter and mean and dangerous. Envy is a bitter cycle; it eats us from the inside out.
However, things don’t go according to plan. His envy blinds him to danger, and he meets a gruesome end.