Gillian Lennox appears in Dark Angel. She’s an insecure sixteen year old who goes into the woods to find a kid that she believes she hears crying, ends up dying, meeting an angel, only to later learn that he’s really no angel at all.
Gillian Lennox is unconfident and unsure of herself. She’s sixteen but she looks younger (David mistakes her for being a junior higher) and I’m certain that this is part of what causes her insecurities. She doesn’t think herself beautiful, or brave, or any of the things that she admires in other people. In fact, she tells David “I’m not brave, or noble, or witty in the face of danger or—or anything like that.” When Angel first shows up and has her cut her hair, wear daring outfits, and make up, you can tell she’s uncertain, and extremely surprised at David’s appreciative response. Of course, another part of her problem is undoubtedly her family situation. She’s sort of ashamed of her mother (who drinks a lot) and when her father leaves it’s mentioned that it’s not the first time, and that’s probably given her some insecurities as well, even if she doesn’t realize them.
Gillian’s insecurities lead right into her next big problem in the book, dependence. She begins to depend upon Angel for everything. She uses him to tell her what to say, what to do. She depends on his judgement. Therefore it’s a terrible realization when she finds out he’s not at all who she thought he was. All of a sudden she has to depend upon herself. Angel doesn’t know it, but he’s actually been doing a good job so that at this point she’s READY to stand on her own. By showing her that other people can find her attractive, that it’s not so hard to talk to people, no matter how popular they are, and telling her over and over that she’s special, he’s actually raised her self confidence high enough that even without him she doesn’t collapse. She does what she knows needs to be done.
Gillian has a good heart and a desire to help people. This is seen in the beginning of the book where she dies trying to help a crying child, and in the end when she’s determined to help Angel cross over and to put Paula Belizer’s parents minds at rest.
Gillian changes a lot throughout the events of Dark Angel. She goes from insecure to being much more self-assured. She learns independence. I do not think that in the future she will be as easily swayed as she was by Angel. Gillian is learning that she is a worthwhile person who matters in the world, and who can stand her ground and deal with just about any situation that pops up, including misguided spirits claiming to be angels.
Dark Angel by L.J. Smith
Reflections on LJ Smith