By David H. Walker (auth.)
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We felt, alas, that by telling his story, Michel had made his action more legitimate. Our not having known at what point to condemn it in the course of his long 28 Andre Gide explanation seemed almost to make us his accomplices. ' (4 70; 139) Hence in recounting his story in this way, Michel has achieved a number of effects. First, he has used essential features of narrative to manipulate and compel acquiescence from his listeners, disarming their critical senses and suspending their moral judgement.
The Symphonie pastorale, of a form of self-delusion; The Immoralist, of a form of individualism. 49 L'lmmoraliste (The Immoralist) The narrator-protagonist of L 'lmmoraliste has come close to death during a journey to North Africa following his marriage to Marceline. His return to health after his serious illness is like a rebirth to him, and makes him view his former existence as misguided and based on a false set of values. He seems to have discovered, behind the person he was before his illness, another self he had ignored during his adult life: 'From the depths of my past childhood, there now awoke in me the glimmerings of a thousand lost sensations.
Even if we do not understand the language of the unconscious, we are aware that a hidden presence is expressing itself through the allusive language of much of the text; and these obliquely expressed, self-generating impulses reinforce the double meanings and thereby the ironic dimension of the novel. La Porte Etroite (Strait is the Gate) The story of La Porte Etroite can be summed up fairly simply, and can be seen to conform to Gide's conception of the a priori narrative. Two young people, Alissa and Jerome, are united by a pious spiritual ambition inspired by a sermon preached on the theme: 'Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction' (505; 18: Matthew, VII, 13-14).
André Gide by David H. Walker (auth.)