Sidney Sheldon is one of the representatives of modern American literature. His works are very interesting and attract the readers. The theme of Sidney Sheldon’s works isbroad, and there are a lot of problems that must be studied in them. According to their positive and negative features I attempted to analyze and qualify the main characters of his novel “Memories of midnight”. The main characters are Catherine Alexandre and Constantin Demiris. Catherine is a dynamic character. As we said before dynamic character is changeble. At the beginning Catherine was so weak, coward but she tried and found her way. She became strong hard — working and business executive woman. At the end of the novel we can see her the image of the woman with noble features. She was polite, shy, sensitive, always ready for help but a little bit fearful.At the beginning of the novel she was described as helpless, timid. She lost her memory that is why she asked many questions from everybody about herself. We can know about it from the conversation of Catherine with Sister Theresa the elderly and frail Mother Superior in the convent.
“'Do you know who I am?'
'No, my child,' Sister Theresa said.
'How did I get to this place?'
'At the foot of these mountains is a village called Ioannina. You were in a small boat in the lake during a storm last year. The boat sank, but by the grace of God, two of our sisters saw you and rescued you. They brought you here.'
'But... where did I come from before that?'
'I'm sorry, child. I do not know.'
She could not be satisfied with that. 'Hasn't anyone inquired about me? Hasn't anyone tried to find me?'
Sister Theresa shook her head. 'No one.' ” (Chapter 1, page 6)
She was fearful because of her terrible dreams.Catherine woke up screaming every night fromthe same dream. In her drems shealways saw a man and a woman who were drowning her. She woke up each time, panicky. Sometimes she considered herself as an unnecessary person. Because noone was interested in her and tried to find her.
I'm lost, she thought, and no one cares. Why?
Have I done something evil? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? (Chapter 1, page7)
Our heroine was anonymous, a stranger living among strangers. In her opinion there was noone to help her. But although she lost her memory or she was screaming every night but she had a strong will. Becauseshe tried to find herself.
There was no more peace for her after that. These were not mere dreams. They were pieces of her life, her past. I must find out who I was. Who I am. And unexpectedly, in the middle of the night, without warning, a name was dredged up out of her subconscious. Catherine.
My name is Catherine Alexander. (Chapter 1, page 8)
Catherine was helpless. She wanted to tell about her feelings to someone. She was a shy and candid woman. For knowing herself she believed even to a strange person. She was like a sinking human, and she tried to hold on to any bush to survive that abyss in her mind. But sometimes it resulted in failure and mistake. But she had to find out about her personality, she had to find out about her past. For example the meeting with one man put her in bad situation. The aim of that man was not good but Catherine did not notice it at once and it seemed to Catherine that he knew her. But at the end of their conversation Catherine realized that he was just flirting with her.
Catherine turned and fled, running down the street. She turned a corner and slowed down, her eyes filled with tears of humiliation. (Chapter 3, page 37)
She was very thoughtful and she decided very strongly for her future.
We must tell another feature of her character, that if she started her work noone could distract her. She did everything right and on time. It was one of her good traits. For example: when she was out of Northwestern University and went from Chicago to Washington DC for her first job,her roommate noted her about one job. Though she had a little chance, she went there. She waited at the reception office and the director came to his receptionist, saying that he needed a copy of magazine“LIFE”.Theissue that came out three or four weeks ago. It had a picture of Stalin on the cover. It struck to Catherine that the old magazines would be only in Barber shops and dentists' offices. Using her mind she found it and it shows us how bright she was.
'Sally tells me that you came up with the Life magazine.'
'I assume you didn't just happen to have a three-week-old issue in your purse.'
'How did you find it so quickly?'
'I went down to the barber shop. Barber shops and dentists' offices always have old issues lying around.'
'Are you that bright about everything?'
'We'll find out,' William Fraser said. She was hired. (Chapter 5, page 65)
That’s why her director believed in her and handed all his work to her. Catherine managed all his works. During her job she showed her activities, good sides and she was the most industrious worker among other members.One day MGM studio came to their office, William Fraser left all his works to Catherine. Catherine managed office during his trip to London.
Demiris was also so kind to her. She felt gratitude towards Demiris for giving her work, flat everything for living in a good condition. And she promised herself that she would justify all his expectations and repay his kindness with her work.
I'll work hard. I don't want to let him down. He's been so wonderful. (Chapter 5, page 73)
But a wonderful or extraordinary events could excite her. When she was acquainted with the members of the office, Evelyn introduced her with Wim Vandeen. He was genius and brilliant with mathematics. When Evelyn told Catherine’s name he remembered all women in the past named Caterine. He told them one by one and Catherine shocked from his answer
Catherine was listening, stunned. 'That's... that's very interesting, she managed.
Wim Vandeen looked away.
Evelyn said, Wim is shy when he meets people.
Shy? Catherine thought. The man is weird. And he's a genius? What kind of job is this going to be? (Chapter 5, page 76)
Catherine was a kind hearted woman. When she came to the office she was surprised at Wim’s mind. But Wim was very lonely and Catherine wanted to help him. Catherine had never met anyone like him. She became friend with him. According to the Evelyn’s words before Catherine, noone became friend with Wim. And she always thought about his life how to help him.
Catherine liked the people she was working with, but Wim became special to her. He was brilliant beyond her comprehension, and at the same time, he seemed withdrawn and lonely.
Catherine said to Evelyn one day: 'Isn't there some chance that Wim might lead a normal life? Fall in love and get married?' (Chapter 5, page 82)
Sometimes she thought about herself. Though it was terrible anyway she thanks to God that she was alive. Even she was alone but she tried to live. She didn’t like to think about her terrible past.
Catherine wasliving in a world full of strangers, watching the happiness of other couples, hearing the echo of the laughter of lovers. But she refused to feel sorry for herself. I'm not the onlywoman in the world who's alone. I'm alive! I'm alive! (Chapter 9, page 155)
Our heroine was romantic. She loved Kirk Reynold and she always thought about him but she was afraid sometimes. When she was with Larry she was very happy but unfortunately their love story ended with death. That’s why Catherine worried about her future with Kirk Reynolds. However she was happy her past always pursued her. Catherine thought if Kirk knew about her past he would break up their relationship.
Catherine was seeing Kirk Reynolds regularly, and she found herself drawn to him more and more. He was not handsome, but he was certainly attractive. I learned my lesson about handsome with Larry, Catherine thought wryly. The old expression is true: Handsome is as handsome does. Kirk Reynolds was thoughtful and reliable. He's someone I can count on, Catherine thought. I don't feel any great burning spark, but I probably never will again. Larry took care of that. I'm mature enough now to settle for a mah I respect, who respects me as a companion, someone with whom I can share a nice, sane life without being worried about being thrown off mountain tops, or being buried in dark caves. (Chapter 14, page 220)
Catherine was courageous in the life. Sometimes she lost something during her life or she was in difficult position but she never stopped. She tried again and again. And at the end certainly she found her way. In the following example she learns how to ski. She keeps trying in spite of failures. Through this example her strong will is revealed to the reader.
“You doing fine. Now we're going down the slope. Bend your knees. Get your balance. There you go!' She fell.
'Once more. You're doing fine.'
She fell again. And again. And suddenly, she found her sense of balance. And it was as though she had wings. She sailed down the slope, and it was exhilarating. It was almost like flying. (Chapter 15, page 238)
Sometimes Catherine blamed herself. After the death of Kirk Reynold’s she thought that she was guilty for this. Thinking despairingly she remembered that all the people around her died. She thought that she destroyed everyone who near her.
Catherine was in a state of shock. She sat on the couch in her hotel room, listening to Lieutenant Hans Bergman, head of the ski patrol, tell her that Kirk Reynolds was dead. The sound ofBergman's voice flowed over Catherine in waves, but she was not listening to the words. She was too numbed by the horror of what had happened. Larry's dead, and now Kirk. And there were the others: Noelle, Napoleon Chotas, Frederick Stavros. It was an unending nightmare.
Catherine thought. But in the end, would it really have mattered? What did anything matter? I'm under some kind of curse. (Chapter 17, page 267)
She had many problems. But she didn’t want to say it to somebody. She thought that if she told about her problem they would laugh. That’s why she didn’t want to tell about her problems. For example Evelyn told her about one psychologist she didn’t want to met with him.When she went to the office of Dr Hamilton she quarreled with him. But she realized that she needed someone to share her feelings with.
She was trying to put him at ease, and was not succeeding.
'There's nothing to be frightened of.'
Catherine sat there studying him, wondering what terrible things had been done to him to make him so fearful. She decided she was going to have to try to learn more about his past.
'Atanas, if anyone here gives you any trouble, or is mean to you, I want you to come to me. Do you understand?'
He swallowed. 'Yes, ma'am.' (Chapter 19, page 288)
At the end of the novel Catherine is described as a strong woman. Atanas was sent to kill her and he bound her in the chair and he raised the basement. When it reached in 400 degree it was to explode. But Catherine tried very hard. One foot touched the bottle and she hooked the neck of the bottle on the rope that bound her ankles. Slowly, she inched the bottle in back of her with her feet. The basement was getting hotter. She tried again. The bottle slipped away. Catherine glanced at the dial on the boilerit was 300 degree, she took the bottle hardly to her hand. She cried aloud with frustration. She tried it again. At last she could do it her hands were free. She ran for the far door that led to the bomb shelter, pulled it open and hurried inside. She was safe. It was over. (Chapter 32, page 381)
- Sidney Sheldon “Memories of midnight”
- Большойэнциклопедическийсловарь. Mocквa, 1985
- The World Book Encyclopedia, V. 1, 7, 9, 15, Chicago London Sydney Toronto, 1994