The Quest for Total Peace: The Political Thought of Roger Martin Du Gard

By R. Jouejati | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV

Les Thibault-La Belle Saison

Having brought to the attention of his characters certain 'cells' of corruption which menace society, while hypocritically upholding morality and reform, Martin du Gard now appeals to the emotions of these characters, in order to ascertain their ability to take action against the evils of the times. He repudiates the supernatural as man's sole means of emancipation, and confronts his heroes with their responsibility as human beings. For man and only man can undertake reform, and he cannot rely on some mythical power to perform his unique role. Mythical power is the creation of his imagination, upon which he relies not because of conviction, but from indolent complacency, relieving him of his burden of responsibility. Reform needs conviction, courage, action. If man does not discipline himself to benefit by these virtues, he is bound to suffer. Enjoyment of the immediate present diverts man from his obligation to build for the future, much strength being needed to sacrifice the present for that which lies ahead. To what extent can Martin du Gard's heroes, typical representatives of the society of their times, marshal such strength? Spring, with its splendor, awakens their senses. How do they react to this beautiful season-la belle saison?

Jacques' misery is seemingly interminable. Having done well in secondary school-La Normale-he plans a relaxing summer holiday before embarking upon new projects. But his school with its examinations and activities, in spite of success, offers an insufficient outlet for his energy. As a young man of 20, he feels as if he had not yet emerged from

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The Quest for Total Peace: The Political Thought of Roger Martin Du Gard
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - The Quest for Truth 7
  • Chapter I - Du Gard's Early Career 9
  • Notes 17
  • Part II - The Ills of Traditional Society 21
  • Chapter II - Les Thibault-Le Cahier Gris 23
  • Chapter III - Les Thibault-Le Pénitencier 29
  • Chapter IV - Les Thibault-La Belle Saison 35
  • Chapter V - Les Thibault-La Consultation 41
  • Notes 45
  • Chapter VI - Les Thibault-La Sorellina 47
  • Chapter VII - Les Thibault-La Mort Du Père 51
  • Notes 55
  • Part III - The Ideal Order 57
  • Chapter VIII - L'Eté 1914-The Bases of a Political Philosophy 59
  • Notes 70
  • Chapter IX - L'Eté 1914-The Characteristics of Du Gard's New Order 73
  • Notes 84
  • Chapter X - Evaluation of Du Gard's Contributions to Political Thought 87
  • Conclusion 105
  • Bibliography 109
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