An excerpt from an untitled work by Phillip Martin
April 2, 2014
Eleanor is one of my story’s main characters.
Eleanor actually has a combination of traits from a few people I’ve met. To make her more distinct from actual people, I decided to make her appear differently. Like a scar, a very noticeable birthmark runs down the right side of her face to give her some distinction. Another observable thing about Eleanor is the shape of her eyes.
Eleanor happens to be the daughter of a Japanese mother and Russian father, both first generation American immigrants. It’s already interesting that Eleanor’s parents are an interracial couple. However, it’s also surprising to see a married couple of two different countries that have historically been enemies (World War II). While Eleanor’s parents might seem like an unusual pair, their story has a purpose.
Eleanor’s father, a Russian American immigrant, met his Japanese wife while on a mission trip to Amsterdam. The father returns to the Netherlands on another mission trip a year later and saves his wife from a horrible situation. From the second time they meet, he continually sees to her needs as they become attracted to each other. He helps her gain full citizenship into the United States, where they settle down on the east coast and marry. They have a son and daughter, the daughter being Eleanor.
Eleanor will tell another main character Arlan about the story of her parents in more detail. She tells Arlan how her father cared for her mother to explain to him how a man actually loves a woman. Early in the story, Eleanor notices some problematic behaviors in Arlan as a result of him misunderstanding relationships, especially with women. Therefore, the story of Eleanor’s parents explains her ethnicity and appearance and helps Arlan in his character growth.