What makes him rebel?

I am working on Carrion. Trying to understand Adam’s motivations. By the end of the story the war on drugs has escalated into civil war. So what makes Adam go from policeman to rebel. First things first. What is a rebel? An initial interpretation might focus on those individuals navigating the trials of adolescence. Setting themselves in opposition to the values of parental authority. But this understanding falls too closely to the unfocused rebellion epitomised by Marlon Brando in The Wild Ones. “Hey. Johnny. What are you rebelling against?” To wit Johnny relies. “What’ve you got?” It’s hard to see this as anything more than petulant defiance. Brando’s rebellion is the rebellion of the outsider. And possesses a nihilism that is an anathema to Adam. His rebellion is the rebellion of someone standing in opposition to something. He becomes a participant in an insurrection. A violent uprising against the government. He is a rebel as defined by his opposition to a specific set of values. So what forces this change? If Christopher Vogler (in The Writer’s Journey) is to be believed he must experience death. Only by experiencing death “is he able to return to ordinary life reborn as a new being with new insights.” So what is dying? To understand this I think we have to go back to his upbringing. Until he was fifteen Adam was an only child. Like Christine he was the sole beneficiary of his parents resources. But when his father lost his job. They ended up living in a bed and breakfast. Despite their impoverished circumstance his parents did their best. He could see them doing their best. And reciprocated. Because of their attention he was an articulate child. Reflecting their values. Exhibited a strong sense of what is right and wrong. An obedience to social authority. And a sense of duty. That’s why he joined the army. He didn’t want to get into the debt associated with obtaining a university education. He didn’t want to burden his parents. Or his infant sister. By demanding financial assistance. The army was the logical choice. When they were killed in 2007. Their values motivated him to buy himself out of the army. Return to the family home. And take care of Christine. Joining the police was a sideways move. That fitted his sense of duty. So what makes him reject the values he had lived by. And take up arms against the government. Against the war on drugs. It would have to be something that kills his understanding of the world as he knew it. And forces his rebirth. No single event could cause this. It must be a series of events that build. Ultimately reversing his understanding. There is a conflict between the sense of duty he feels towards authority. And the sense of duty he feels towards his sister. What makes him rebel? I think he comes to see the war on drugs as unfair. And all that word implies. He comes to understand that no matter what Christine and her peers have done. They do not deserve what is being done to them. They do not deserve the plague of insect that are killing them. Ultimately his rebellion is an attempt to right a wrong. And save his sister.

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