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Plot - The Appearance of Love.

Jean Luc, a young man in 19th-century clerk attire, stands in a dimly lit, sparse room, holding a note with a somber expression. In the background, through a window, the silhouette of Marie and an old merchant in a carriage is visible, depicting them moving away. The setting and mood highlight the dramatic and emotional depth of the scene.

Love; Historical; drama | Paris, 1820.

Main characters

Jean Luc is the only son of Baron Lagarde, a landowner linked to the king's court for generations, and studies in Paris. He is a mild mannered, elegant young man and is a model student, appreciated by his professors for his discipline and intelligence. What his father ignores is the double life his son leads: at night Jean Luc changes clothes and frequents the suburbs, captivated by what he calls 'the thrill of a risky but true life.'

Marie is a young mother. The sixth child of a peasant couple, she has moved away from home to avoid her father's harassment. To survive she works as a waitress in a tavern. She expects nothing from life and makes do with what she has. Her only priority is her little one, whom she tries to keep close to her at all times, even when she is working, and this creates quite a few problems for her. She has recently found a boyfriend, a braggart whom she meets only at night, but whom she sincerely loves. The boyfriend's name is Jean Luc.

The call to adventure

The hovel where Marie and her daughter, Giselle, live is an unsanitary place, especially for the little girl. Jean Luc adores the little girl and is in love with Marie, and as time goes by he can no longer stand that they live in such miserable conditions. Jean Luc begins to ask for more money from her father by making up more and more outlandish excuses, but the parent accepts without fail.

Jean Luc uses the money to rent a small house for Marie, who rejects the offer as she fears that the money collected by her fiancé is the fruit of some wrongdoing. But finally, at the umpteenth feverishness of Giselle she gives in by moving out.

The conflict

A professor of Jean Luc, a friend of the baron, during a chat with the nobleman instills some doubts in the parent. He reports to him that for some time the young man has been less attentive and he is not aware of him spending money on parties, dresses or jewelry. The baron assigns one of his trusted men to check on his son and discovers the truth.

For the Lagarde family it is a scandal. The father forces the boy to leave Marie and retrace his steps. Jean Luc's mother, a woman who has always lived in her spouse's shadow, also tries to convince him. Jean Luc loves his family and is therefore torn between his love for his parents and his love for Marie.

The key

Called home, Jean Luc is subjected to an ultimatum by the baron, who is certain that his son will give in; instead, Jean Luc decides to repudiate his family and follow his heart. Meanwhile, Giselle falls ill. Jean Luc stops attending college and, thanks to a classmate, finds a job as a clerk. Marie remains in the dark, however, but understands that her boyfriend is tormented and also that the money coming home is not what it used to be. In fact, Jean Luc quickly consumes the last resources in his possession.

When Giselle's condition worsens no one has the money to take her to a doctor. It is at that moment that at the tavern where Marie works a rich old merchant offers her a way out: welfare in exchange for a regular marriage. In order to save the little girl, Marie secretly abandons her companion and flees with the merchant. Jean Luc is left with a note and the hope of returning home.

Plot alternatives

A clash of social classes, cross interests, love and convention. This kind of plot is based on the priorities of the affections: when we are cornered, what matters more: family of origin, son, or partner? You can change a lot of this plot, not only the place and time, but also the characters and their ties.

You can introduce mentors, antagonists, and traitors: a trusted professor who advises Jean Luc against dating Marie; a friend who betrays Jean Luc by reporting everything to the baron; an exploiter of Marie who threatens her and wants money in exchange for her release. You can even push into the fantasy or Sci-Fi genre. Have fun trying it out.


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