Last week, I noted that The Immoralist “caused a scandal” on its first publication in Which is the kind of thing you do when you get most of. Rereading Gide’s The Immoralist () recently that is indeed how I experienced the text. It is disturbing, upsetting even, to read. Why? In Homos in , Leo. I have been going through old classics on my shelves recently. A couple months ago, I re-read Albert Camus’ THE STRANGER and THE FALL.

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Becoming ill from tuberculosis, Marceline suffers a miscarriage.

On the night of their meeting Marceline suffers a miscarriage and becomes very ill. Michel’s mother died when he was fifteen. The voice that recounts is that of Michel, not that of Gide.

Published inlong post-marriage, Gide’s autobio novel except his fictional couple do screw, at least once startled friends who applauded his venture into uncharted terrain. As time passes, Michel discovers the emergence of his true inner self, which had previously been repressed. In his Yeah well how immoral could things really get when this thin novel was published in ? Michel is disappointed that these boys have lost the health and freshness that had first drawn him to them.

I have worked hard to the end, done my duty with passion and dedication. While Michel recovers from the disease, Marceline, who becomes infected while nursing him, eventually dies from it. Unlike the characters in, say, Lord of the Flies or Heart of DarknessMichel reaches his state without leaving society. Again there are hints of homosexuality:. Bleached dry by the sun and Gide’s parched prose, this story carries a modern reasonance: The air was full of pollen, of scents, and it went to my head like strong drink.

When Michel is 25, his father becomes gravely immoraliwt, and Michel marries Marceline, a young woman whom he immoalist knows, in order to please his dying father. View all 80 comments. None of which is an easy process. Driven by inexplicable curiosityMichel, on recovering from his strange sickness, finds himself attracted immoralisst the vivacious health and effervescent beauty of a young Arab boy.


Although I’m not sure how much I liked it And to maintain order in our society we need these structures or least that is how we know it. His obligations as a landlord constrict him and social obligations oppress.

Andre Gide – ‘The Immoralist’

Instead, this boy, named Moktir, now becomes Michel’s “favourite,” and this incident becomes “a strange moment of self-revelation. As they continue their travels through Italy, Michel continues to delight in the rich scents of the land and people. September 14, at During the course of the novel, Michel and then his wife are brought to the brink of death. The cassias, which flower long before they come into leaf, gave off a sweet scent—or perhaps it emanated from everywhere, the light, unfamiliar smell which seemed to enter into me by all my senses and filled me with a feeling of exaltation.

Reading group: A slap in the face from André Gide’s The Immoralist

People dare not—they dare not turn the give. Michel ends up alone in dark Africa leading a debauched life. Each layer builds upon the other to form a composite text, a complete entity. Within this frame narrativethe main body of The Immoralist is a first-person narrative from the point of view of Michel.

He seems to play a disturbing part in her decline, pushing them to repeat the exhausting journey that Michel had made to overcome his own sickness. What’s the fuss about? In the following essay, Remy examines Gide’s use of natural imagery to mirror his protagonist’s psychic state.

As he spends more and more time with young peasant men on the estate, Michel begins to associate his sense of smell with his attraction to these vigorous youths.

If we are to frame our main character in Freudian sexual scale, he is pretty latent homosexual.

The Immoralist

She is twenty years old when she marries Immora,ist. The pond is drained so that it may be repaired and replenished; like the formal education that Michel rejects, the dark, murky waters of the pond are drained away to immoalist what is at the core: If they did succeed in breaking conventions their effect gde short-lived. While pursuing his natural inclinations, Gide cherished and retained his wife, his independent means and his professional position. Now he wants to be free of all obligation and inhibition to fully experience the pleasure and sensuality brought about by his late homosexual awakening.


Marceline, that long, long-suffering wife senses perfectly the nature of his gids mindset: Our narrator, Michel, gradually finds out that what he really wants to do is not to write dry essays on Gothic antiquities and buy another elaborate hat for his pallid wife, no, what he really wants to do is have sex with young boys. One day, Michel gets into a fight with a drunken coach driver, who had been driving recklessly while Marceline was a passenger in the coach.

Deep down, do I even really want to be a good person, or do I only want to seem like a good person so that people including myself will approve of me? One of the most dramatic symptoms of tuberculosis is the coughing up of blood, which Michel in The Immoralist immoralisg in graphic detail. Michel, the protagonist of The Immoralisthas spent his early adulthood as a scholar of gidde Greek and Roman cultures. However important a work L’Immoraliste may appear to be today, at its publication it found few readers, and among those few some greeted it with hostile indignation.

Michel in The Immoralist “confesses” to a group of three close friends the intimate details of his psychological development as a young man, and the conflicts he experiences between the expectations of his marriage and his yearning for personal freedom.