There is nothing as scary as a villain who is right. – Don Maass

When writing Why Aren’t You Sweet Like Me, I saw that I had followed Honey and Don through a series of obstacles without a tangible villain.  There is a villain, however. So when I went back to build up this character – who was only mentioned a few times in Don’s letters but Honey hated the man – I realized that he was right. He made a decision that put Don in danger and he was abrupt, malicious, and apathetic about it. His name is Trip Carroll.

Trip realizes that he’s not a hero. He doesn’t have the constitution necessary to be the ideal that we all have of the American soldier during WWII who would sacrifice anything but his men. A man in his position (a Major in the Army) should be honorable, thoughtful, caring; instead, he offers nothing but selfishness and egotism. He is deceptive at first. When he tells us why he’s made this decision, he legitimizes his actions for the sake of self-preservation and to save others. He illuminates that he is good on paper, but not in practice. By stepping down from his position and destroying his reputation, he saves lives. So is this a betrayal? By eschewing the heroic action, he also admits that what he’s doing is best for everyone involved. Or perhaps this cowardice is just an excuse to carry out revenge against Don?

I suppose you’ll have to decide when you meet him.


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