New Eden – a Sci-Fi novel – Professor Angus Blythe – insights into the character.

New Eden – Professor Angus Blythe – insights into the character.

I needed to create a scientist who would be involved in creating a lethal virus. I did not want a malevolent, evil caricature; I wanted a real person. So, I created Professor Angus Blythe.

Angus is not an evil man. To a large extent he is the product of his upbringing and personality. He was brought up in a home devoid of physical contact and run on very strict authoritarian principles. It was not that he was abused or unloved; more that no love was ever overtly expressed. It had the effect of suppressing his emotions so that he was unable to express love, hate or even anger. One might say that he was emotionally stunted, even to the point of possessing autistic tendencies.

Angus was not completely lacking in empathy and compassion; more that he had never been allowed to develop these qualities so that they lay dormant inside him.

Angus Blythe was a very clever man. He had a form of obsessive compulsive disorder in that he needed everything orderly and understood. He was a problem solver. When confronted with a task or problem he would throw himself into solving it or completing it with one hundred percent concentration. Nothing else mattered. This was the nearest thing to happiness that he ever achieved. He found his work fulfilling.

He operated in the area of genetics which was a field that was always close to controversy with a multitude of moral and ethical dilemmas. Not that Angus Blythe ever involved himself with such matters. He left that to others. He cut himself off from all considerations of ethics. He merely focussed on solving the problems. It was up to others, those better qualified for such matters, to decide what applications of his work were desirable.

Likewise, Angus made no connection with the many creatures he experimented on. His investigations involved working with monkeys, chimps and even humans, but he did not consider the emotional impact or distress he might be causing his subjects. He simply did not empathise. These subjects were a means to an end. They were there to help him solve problems. He made little distinction between them and inanimate objects. It was not that he enjoyed inflicting pain or discomfort so much as those aspects never impinged on his mind. The animals and people he used were a means to an end; they were statistics, nothing more.

I hinted at Angus’s deeper, concealed emotions by revealing a rather incongruous relationship with another main character, Doctor Langston Angstrom. When they had been at university together, studying in the same field of science, they had struck up a friendship. I have noticed on many occasions that these type of relationships often occur, seemingly different personality types finding common ground. I needed Angus to develop in the course of the novel. He needed to undergo an awakening. That hint of friendship revealed the possibility of an emotional depth that lurked in the recesses of his psyche.

Angus Blythe was central to my story.

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