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59 pages 1 hour read

Matthew Blake

Anna O

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2024

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Character Analysis

Dr. Benedict “Ben” Prince

Content Warning: The source material features discussions of psychosomatic disorders and trauma.

Ben functions as the story’s protagonist who changes and grows from an intellectual, caring, and thoughtful professional into a jaded, disgraced, and fearful man. Ben is shown as well-educated, shy, empathetic, determined, lonely, and regretful. He shows his intelligence often, such as when he explains sleep disorders to characters like Donnelly and Harriet with expertise:

Resignation syndrome is a functional neurological disorder […] It’s not an organic disease of the brain, as such, but of the psyche itself. The common feature across all continents and timelines is that patients suffer from resignation syndrome when confronted with the total absence and removal of hope (67).

He’s renowned as a professor and expert in his field, and his lectures and books are well-known in the academic community—all of which show his wisdom and passion for his job. Despite Ben’s successful career and care for his patients, he feels stagnant before working with Anna, his big break. Though Ben retains his analytical, intelligent mindset throughout the novel, he at first believes Anna may be an innocent victim of a sleep disorder. Despite his experience as a consultant on many crimes, Ben gives Anna the benefit of the doubt because he knows she could have been sleepwalking and is not aware of her actions.

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