Symbols a. Vipers’ Tangle * Hatred of his children * Desire for revenge * Love of money * Refusal to seek beyond those entangled vipers b. Spring * The Spring signals Louis’ happiness. . He was so happy when a woman came to love him in the person of Isa but it took more than half a century before he experienced that same happiness that he had after his marriage. “How strange it is that, at those beginnings of life when a little appiness is handed out to us, there is no voice which warns us… this first spring on which you have stumbled is also the last. Quench your thirst, once and for all; you shall not drink again. ” c. Summer when he passes by the drawing room * This signals his transformation. One hot summer on August 1896, he was again trying to win his children in hand again. d.
Rain / Hail * The rain has always been regarded as the symbol for rebirth and in last chapter of the 1st part, Louis realizes that it’s never too late for them to begin their lives again and that unconsciously, he starts to accept God’s grace. This becomes vident after Isa’s death when he talked to Genevieve and Hubert where he felt that his hatred and passion for revenge went dead and that he looks forward to being with his children for the first time. e. Marie’s death * The only child for whom he ever felt true love, Marie, died young. Like Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross, Marie died for her Papa to redeem him.
We can infer that had Marie did not die young and Luc went missing, Louis would Just have his eyes on his two most beloved and would never see the path to God’s saving grace. E. Theme * sin vs. grace * God’s grace is accessible to anyone. Even the most miserly old sinner like Louis who strips himself of all his old illusions as he prepares for his inevitable end. Taking a cold, hard look at his life, and at the consequences of his meanness and solipsism, Louis begins to understand how a deliberate self-deception has shaped his life for ill, not for good.
We are presented with a malevolent old man on his deathbed; the author’s case is simply this: no one is beyond the reach of God’s grace. Without romanticizing Louis, Mauriac expresses the tragedy of a wasted life, the tragedy of a man who has closed himself off from a community of love to wallow in is own despair. Louis is sinned against as well as sinning, but he reserves many of his harshest Judgments for himself. He is honest, not hypocritical, and he often turns his cruelty inwards. But God’s grace reached him even though the members of his family are lukewarm Christians who spied upon his actions and whom he himself tormented.
At fault, they have been driving him to despair and blinding his eyes to the light of truth. ” F. Salient Features of French Literature present in the Novel f. Individualism is more glorified * Louis has accustomed himself to despising those around him, to closing himself ff from affection, to becoming the “monster” so many take him to be, almost as a duty rather than a compulsion. He confesses that “my passion for possession, and for using and abusing what I possess, extends to human beings. * He compelled his mother to knock down the mud huts where their farm laborers had lived He even dreamt of using Marinette to make Isa suffer, as a form of revenge. Moreover, he is fond of portraying himself as someone cruel, even to his children. He is full of hatred for his family and loves it when he annoys them. * He hates religion and does not believe in God day of penitence; that if the time of his death, he comes to accept the ministry of a priest, he protests in advance so that he could prevent any abuse of his mental or physical weakness and also because his reason rejects it. For him, no metaphysical idea was attached to the Mass every Sunday; that it was Just a form of worship of a class and a body of ritual lacking any significance other than social and that priests are persons in disguise, masqueraders. With these, it can be said that promotes exercise of his goals and desires while opposing most external interference by the family, a group or institution or by the ociety. g.
Clear Manifestation of Artistic Reality * Mauriac artistically laid out the plot for the readers, as well as the real life experiences that he made his characters go through: * Love for land and money dies * Louis has passion for land and money * Louis’ children only think about the inheritance that they could get as he * Sinning * Louis keeps torturing Isa and his children through his indifference He is filled with anger, hatred and greed in his heart