How does survival of the fittest demonstrate Lucy to be the strongest character in the novel?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Part of Lucy's ability to outmaneuver Faber is a survival of the fittest. In being able to deny Faber the ability to use electrical means of conveying his message to Germany as well as being able to kill someone towards whom she had feelings represents a survival technique in which survival of the fittest can be seen.  At such a point, Faber realizes either he will be successful or she will be.  Yet, I think that Follett constructs her survival to be a bit more than self- interested survival.  Lucy has to make a conscious choice between accepting the illusion that Faber offers and what is defined as the truth.  Faber initially lies to her that David has died and she could choose to accept this and thus, accept Faber, in his totality.  Yet, the reality is that she does not do so.  She struggles to find the truth and in confronting Faber, she must make a conscious choice between her illusion pursued with Faber and her own loyalty to her own internal sense of right and country.  Both end up motivating her to do what British forces could not do in killing Faber.  Her decisive will to act is what maintains her survival and thwarts Faber's.  It is a desire to survive, a survival of the fittest, in which she wins.  Yet, there are motivations intrinsic sense of right and patriotic compulsion that drive Lucy to do what others could not do.

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