The Scarlet Pimpernel

Chpt 31: #1. describe what happens to Percy and Marguerite.


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The ending of the novel resolves both of our primary conflicts -- as husband and wife reconcile, primarily with Lady Blakeney in awe of Percy's cleverness, completing his character's arc from seeming buffoon to ingenious swashbuckler. Moreover, the fugitives are freed, which truly prevents any climactic showdown where Marguerite would have had to choose between Percy and her brother.

The final moments have a fairy tale absurdity. Percy manages to get into new, fashionable clothes on his boat, clothes "of which he always kept a supply on board his yacht." Marguerite finds a pair of shoes so "she could put foot on English shore in his best pair," and the rest is "silence" -- the silence of a perfect ending where everyone gets their happily ever after. Indeed, the close of the book is a firm reminder that this, after all, is melodrama at its most self-indulgent -- a slight fairy tale meant to divert and entertain, a bit of revisionist mythology set in a dreadful historical moment. Finally the nobility get their very own Robin Hood.