Day Ten: Jolted Jerks

Welcome to Day Ten of the A to Z Challenge. For this year’s challenge, I’ll be examining different types of characters that can be found in international fiction. Today I’m looking at jolted jerks.

Jolted jerks, before a mishap, tend to be proud, depreciating and selfish. These characters go through a tragedy that transforms their trajectory.

Things that jolted jerks have in common are a stripping of an ability or wealth and the necessity to adapt to a monumental change.

Stripping of Abilities or Wealth

An unforeseen situation happens in the beginning of every jolted jerk’s journey. Henry, a ruthless lawyer in Regarding Henry, gets shot in the head and loses many of his capacities. Dr. Steven Strange, a proud brain surgeon in Dr. Strange, gets in a car accident and loses the steadiness of his hands. Joanna in Overboard (1987), falls off a boat and temporarily loses her memory, along with her wealth.

Necessity to Adapt to a Monumental Change

Jolted jerks’ mishap is always so monumental, that their only choice is to learn how to adapt after it. In Henry’s case, even learning how to tie his shoes presents a challenge that he must overcome. In the case of Dr. Strange, at first he seeks to overcome adaptation and regain the use of his hands. Oddly enough, this road still leads Dr. Strange to place where he finds value in adapting to his loss. In Joanna’s case, she has to learn to adapt to a life that she detests, but thinks is her own.

The interesting aspect of jolted jerks journey is that tragedy is seen as a blessing in disguise. Their loss enables them to discover a world that they were blind to before. Other examples of jolted jerks are Louis Winthrop III in Trading Places, Leonardo Montenegro in Overboard (2018), and Fidel in La tribu.

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