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

By R. Jouejati | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI

Les Thibault-La Sorellina

In La Sorellina, meaning little sister, Martin du Gard brings the reader closer to the dramatic climax of the novel. La Sorellina is an allegory concerning a young girl of African origin, Giselle, who as an orphan is adopted by Mlle. Waize, her aunt, the old and trusted servant of Les Thibault. Growing up in Les Thibault's home, Giselle shares their joys and sorrows. She is like a little sister to both Antoine and Jacques. While more drawn to the latter, she attracts both boys by her physical charms. At their summer residence she and Jacques often find themselves alone together, their enjoyment stimulated by sensual excitement. Gradually, Jacques is torn between two attractions, one for Giselle, which seems almost like incest, and the other for Jenny de Fontanin, still frustrated.

Jacques has now been absent for three years, his whereabouts unknown. His father assumes he has committed suicide. Thus, there emerge two central points of interest-the rapidly deteriorating health of his father and the effort of Antoine to find his brother.

Relentlessly, the tragedy unfolds in the agonizing suffering of Mr. Thibault, struggling for survival, and in Jacques' intellectual and emotional conflict. There is also the distress of less important characters, each with a share of pain and toil, tyranny and injustice. There is the case of Mr. Chasle, who, for a long time, has been the private secretary of Mr. Thibault and who is impoverished by the hospitalization expense of his mentally afflicted mother. His modest salary of 400 francs a month is threatened by the impending death

-47-

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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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