Characterisation

Eleanor Young – Truly ORIGINAL Characters Series: Part 25

Welcome to Original Characters, an ongoing series of Industrial Scripts’ articles examining the most original characters to appear in both TV and film. This article will focus on Eleanor Young from Crazy Rich Asians (2018).

What is an original character?

It’s a character that sticks with you even when they’re long gone from your screens. It’s a character that serves as a reference point in casual conversation or a character that sums up a behavior or generation.

original, adjective

“Not the same as anything or anyone else and therefore special and interesting…”

— The Cambridge English Dictionary

Most importantly, in screenplay terms, an original character is a character that shines through in spite of any other weaknesses within that screenplay. 

For a Screenplay Reader or Development Executive an original character is an element of a script that shines through everything else. No matter how busy they are or no matter how much work other elements of the script need, the original characters stand out. 

Great characters are at the very heart of great screenwriting and original characters can help elevate great to superlative. 

Whether plucked from real life, an amalgamation of real people in real life or just simply a genius stroke of creativity, these are original characters…

The latest in our original characters series will look at Eleanor Young from Crazy Rich Asians.

*The following article contains spoilers for Crazy Rich Asians*

Who is Eleanor Young?

Eleanor Young, the formidable matriarch of the Young family in Kevin Kwan’s “Crazy Rich Asians,” is a character that captivates readers with her elegance, intelligence, and unwavering devotion to her family. As the head of one of Singapore’s most affluent families, Eleanor embodies the traditional values and customs of her culture while navigating the complexities of modern society.

In a world driven by wealth and status, Eleanor Young’s journey embodies family, tradition, and the pursuit of success. In this article, we will delve into the character of Eleanor Young, exploring her motivations, relationships, and the impact she has on the story as a whole.

Eleanor Young – Background

Eleanor Sung-Young, the matriarch of the Young family in Kevin Kwan’s “Crazy Rich Asians,” is a character deeply rooted in the traditions and customs of her culture. She was born into wealth in Singapore, was raised with a sense of duty and responsibility to her family and community. Educated at prestigious institutions, she was groomed to be a traditional wife and mother, a role she embraced fully.

Eleanor’s upbringing instilled in her a deep respect for tradition and a strong sense of pride in her heritage. She is a devout Christian, and her faith plays a significant role in her life and the decisions she makes. Eleanor is also fiercely protective of her family’s reputation and legacy, and she will go to great lengths to ensure their success and happiness.

Singaporean Matriarch: The Intriguing Life of Eleanor Young in ‘Crazy Rich Asians’

As the head of the Young family, Eleanor is a powerful and influential figure in Singaporean society. Eleanor is recognized for her elegance, grace, and impeccable taste, often serving as a role model for women in her community. She is also highly intelligent and perceptive, with a keen understanding of human nature. She is not afraid to use her wealth and influence to get what she wants, and she can be ruthless when necessary.

Eleanor’s relationship with her son, Nick, is a central focus of the novel. Eleanor is dedicated to Nick, yet she holds high standards for him and his future, seeking only the best. When Nick introduces Rachel to his family, Eleanor is skeptical of their relationship, thinking Rachel isn’t good enough. She believes Rachel won’t fit into their world, being American-born Chinese, and isn’t the right match for her son. However, as the story progresses, She comes to respect Rachel and sees her as a worthy partner for her son.

Overall, Eleanor Young is a complex and multifaceted character who plays a central role in “Crazy Rich Asians.” She is a woman of great strength and determination, but she is also vulnerable and insecure. Eleanor’s character arc in the novel is captivating, especially her relationships with her son Nick and daughter-in-law Rachel.

Eleanor Young’s Character

Eleanor Young, the matriarch of the Young family in Kevin Kwan’s “Crazy Rich Asians,” is a character with a multitude of traits that make her both compelling and complex. Here are some of the key character traits that define Eleanor Young:

Eleanor Young: A Portrait of Elegance, Intelligence, and Tradition

  • Elegance and Grace: Eleanor is acclaimed for her sophistication, opulence, and flawless taste. She carries herself with dignity and grace, and her appearance is always immaculate.
  • Intelligence and Perceptiveness: Eleanor is highly intelligent and perceptive, with a keen understanding of human nature. She is able to read people and situations with great accuracy, which makes her a formidable adversary.
  • Traditional Values: Eleanor is profoundly tied to the customs and traditions of her cultural heritage. She believes in the importance of family, duty, and honor, and she expects her children to uphold these values as well.
  • Fiercely Protective: She is fiercely protective of her family and their reputation. She will go to great lengths to ensure their success and happiness, even if it means making difficult decisions.

Faith, Ambition, and Vulnerability: The Complex World of Eleanor Young

  • Devout Christian: Eleanor’s faith is a central part of her life. She is a devout Christian, and her beliefs play a significant role in her decisions and actions.
  • High Expectations: Eleanor has high expectations for herself and her family. She believes in striving for excellence and expects nothing less from those around her.
  • Ruthlessness: Eleanor can be ruthless when necessary. She is unafraid to use her wealth and influence to achieve her desires, showing relentless determination in her pursuits.
  • Vulnerability: Despite her strength and determination, She is also vulnerable and insecure. She has had to struggle for all her achievements, and she is resolute in safeguarding her family, no matter the cost.

Overall, Eleanor Young is a complex and multifaceted character who plays a central role in “Crazy Rich Asians.” She is a woman of great strength and determination, but she is also vulnerable and insecure. Eleanor’s character arc is one of the most compelling aspects of the novel, and her relationships with her family members, particularly her son Nick and daughter-in-law Rachel, are central to the story.

Eleanor Young’s Confrontation with Rachel Chu

[Scene: The opulent living room of the Young family mansion in Singapore. Eleanor Young, impeccably dressed, sits on a luxurious sofa, her expression stern. Rachel Chu, Nick’s girlfriend, stands before her, looking nervous but determined.]

Eleanor: [Calmly] Rachel, please have a seat.

Rachel: [Nervously] Thank you, Mrs. Young.

Eleanor: [Fixing her gaze on Rachel] I’ve heard a lot about you, Rachel. You’re an accomplished academic, a talented pianist, and you come from a good family. But I must admit, I’m curious about your intentions with my son.

Rachel: [Taking a deep breath] Mrs. Young, I love Nick. I know we come from different worlds, but I believe that love transcends all boundaries.

Eleanor: [Raising an eyebrow] Love is a powerful force, Rachel. But it is not enough. My son is the heir to a great legacy, and his future is intertwined with that of our family. I need to know that you understand the responsibilities that come with being a part of our family.

Rachel: [Nodding] I understand, Mrs. Young. I may not have grown up in the same world as Nick, but I am willing to learn and adapt. I want to be a part of his world, and I will do whatever it takes to make that happen.

Eleanor: [Smiling faintly] I admire your determination, Rachel. But know this – my family is my priority, and I will do whatever it takes to protect them. If you hurt my son, there will be consequences.

Rachel: [Meeting Eleanor’s gaze] I would never do anything to hurt Nick, Mrs. Young. I love him, and I want to build a future with him.

Eleanor: [Nodding] Very well, Rachel. I will give you the benefit of the doubt, for now. But remember, actions speak louder than words. You have a lot to prove.

Rachel: [Determinedly] I understand, Mrs. Young. And I will not let you down.

[The tension in the room eases slightly as Eleanor nods in approval. Rachel takes a deep breath, feeling a sense of relief and determination. The scene fades out as the two women continue their conversation, setting the stage for the challenges and obstacles they will face in the future.]

Motivations and Impact on the Story

Eleanor’s love for her family and her desire to protect their reputation and legacy drive her motivations. She is willing to make difficult decisions and sacrifices to ensure their success and happiness. Eleanor’s bond with Nick is pivotal, her actions often fueled by her wish for his success and joy. Her connection with Rachel is equally significant, as she seeks a worthy partner for Nick.

Eleanor Young’s impact on the story is significant. She is a driving force behind many of the plot developments, and her actions and decisions have far-reaching consequences. Eleanor’s dynamic with Rachel is a focal point, showcasing Eleanor’s growth and evolution through their interactions. Eleanor’s character development, especially her ties with Nick and Rachel, is a cornerstone of the narrative’s depth.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Eleanor Young is a character who embodies the complexities and contradictions of the modern world. She is a woman of great strength and determination, but she is also vulnerable and insecure. Eleanor values tradition but is open to change, adapting when needed. She fiercely protects her family’s reputation, making tough choices for their well-being. Eleanor’s character arc in “Crazy Rich Asians” is captivating, especially her ties with Nick and Rachel. Eleanor Young is a character who challenges assumptions, making us ponder the human experience’s intricacies.

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