Laurel filters everything through her own subjective memories about it, and knows something is ‘up’ with Jack even though he appears to know all the right ‘details’ about their life—because she can remember her husband well enough, despite not having seen him for many years, to provide a good basis of comparison to the ‘new and improved’ Jack. Her husband did not read Homer, her husband was not kind to her, and he never made her love him nearly as much as she loves this new man. Laurel is meticulous and careful; she wanted to wait a long time to get involved with Orin, enough to make sure she is not ‘still married,’ and then when her husband comes back, says that’s just how things are. She recognizes how the world works, that she is another man’s possession, and abides within that, soon falling in love with Jack in the process. Her emotions drive her, and she says at his trial that she has no proof that he is not the real Jack, other than how much she loves him, and the intensity of those feelings having no connection to her actual husband. When Jack points out that if she sticks to her story, all her friends and neighbors will lose their money and property (because he is a fraud, it is not legal), and their daughter will be called a bastard, she renounces her story out of concern for their welfare. But she also begs him, if he loves her, to make a life with her, because to her, “that is what love means! We grow old together!” Even though she can’t bear to watch him die, she goes to his execution for his sake, so he can take comfort in her presence and make his final passing from this world a little easier to bear. Laurel when asked why she believed his lies, says that she supposes she was like ‘everybody else… I wanted it to be true.’ She has some doubts and questions, but only after Orin exposes the flaws in Jack’s story – she becomes defensive, suspicious, and anxious, and orders him out of the house, but after he protects them all from Klan members, she welcomes him back into her life (and her bed). Laurel also is willing to compromise herself, to save Jack – she agrees to marry a man she doesn’t love, if he will help save the man she does. She’s also more sensible than Jack, in her emphasis on his foolishness in sticking to a story that will end with his hanging.

Enneagram: 1w2 sp/so

Jack says of Laurel that he knows she cannot hold onto the truth if it means hurting someone else, because she is too good of a person for that. It’s true, she tries to do the right thing by everyone, even when it’s hard—she lets the man she love die because of his pride, and because it would hurt everyone they care about within the community for him to expose himself as a fraud. But she is also willing to expose him, at first, to save his life. She has a lot of anger, as well, that spills out whenever she feels lied to, wronged, or scared. She knows what she thinks, and feels, and wants, and threatens those who make her feel unsafe, or tells them to get out of her house. Her 2 wing becomes deeply invested in loving Jack, emotional about what is happening to him, and happy about finally being treasured and loved.

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