The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel Essay Questions

  1. 1

    Do you consider the narrator to be impartial? Does the narrator ally him or herself with a class, a country, a cause?

  2. 2

    Who is the central protagonist in The Scarlet Pimpernel? In other words, who carries the emotional weight of the novel?

  3. 3

    How is point-of-view a crucial device in the rendering of Percy? Do we ever experience events through his perspective? How is his heroism dependent upon the way he is seen?

  4. 4

    At what point does Lady Blakeney become a sympathetic character? Would you consider her an unlikable character as she initially appears?

  5. 5

    What purpose does the Comtesse de Tournay serve in the larger arc of the novel? Why do you think she disappears after the first section of the book?

  6. 6

    How does Chauvelin manage to be a threatening villain without ever having to engage in physical combat with the Pimpernel? Is he ultimately threatening?

  7. 7

    How is the Scarlet Pimpernel flower a larger motif for the themes of the novel? Does it fit Percy as a character?

  8. 8

    Why doesn't Chauvelin have to die at the end of the book for a successful resolution? Would the novel have been more satisfying with a different resolution, or does the resolution as Orczy presents it fit the tenor of the book as a whole?

  9. 9

    How does loyalty play a key role in the distinction between Percy succeeding and Chauvelin failing in achieving their goals? Are these respective men's followers equally loyal to their causes? Is their loyalty distinct?

  10. 10

    Is Percy a less admirable hero for never physically taking on his enemies? What is his ultimate goal as the Scarlet Pimpernel?