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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Published inlong post-marriage, Gide’s autobio novel except his fictional couple do screw, at least once startled gied who applauded his venture into uncharted terrain. One day, Menalque hands Michel the pair of scissors that had been stolen by the boy Moktir.

He states that he has been blamed for not ending his story with a clear moral condemnation of Michel’s behavior. That is the problem that has to be solved.

Instead, this novel is more subtle, more like Death in Venicecomplete with its themes of a septic environment, tuberculosis, and, perhaps, pederasty.

The attack upon heterosexuality which for Gide was always an attempt to be rid of the frustration oedipal relationship begins on the first page of Michel’s story when he says of his bride Marceline: While staying in Salerno, Michel spends many days off on his own exploring the area, leaving his wife behind at their hotel. This wife is a barely-there cipher. Mar 25, Samra Yusuf rated it really liked it Shelves: When considered in light of Michel’s self-image, Gide’s use of imagery from nature mirrors the idea of a palimpsest, for layers of soil, water, and timber are removed to reveal a landscape that represents a new beginning; layers are uncovered so that others may push through.

The Immoralist

I need… I need to talk, as I say. Absolutely stunning portrayal of a French Catholic repressive confronting his homo sexuality at the turn of last century. During the course of the novel, Michel and then his wife are brought to the fide of death. Increasingly interested in corrupt and unusual behavior, Michel ultimately decides to catch Alcide, another of Bocage’s sons, while Alcide poaches on his land.


In Ravello, Michel becomes bolder and more adventurous in his new celebration of life through physical and sensual experience. Gide based the character of Menalque on his friend Oscar Wildea well-known Irish playwright of the time.

Andre Gide – ‘The Immoralist’

Her virtues of devotion, abnegation, restraint, and pity are all expressions of the triumph of human weakness. Remy is a freelance writer in Pensacola, Florida. Gide’s vivid descriptions of Michel’s sensation of smells, odors, and fragrances are brilliantly expressive of his celebration of life through sensual experiences. 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 gjde feeling of exaltation.

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Is the misogyny immroalist overt that we can hold the text to be self-conscious immoralistt it?

Yet with this change, Michel did not seem to develop his own sense of morality; rather he glde acted in accordance with generally accepted morality and sometimes against it. As one immorakist expect from a writer who inspired Sartre, Camus, and many others, Gide has written a book with the power to be life changing. While in his sick bed, he meets a young handsome Arab boy and he begins to realize that he is a bisexual man.

In removing the “encrustations” that have, in his view, prevented him from becoming an “authentic being,” Michel compares himself to a palimpsest, a piece of writing that, upon close examination, reveals previous drafts or texts underneath.


The composition of the narrative mirrors both the Gidean personality division and the antithetical character and action of Michel.

Without her patience and care, it is unlikely that Michel would have survived his illness. Per Petterson and the Notion of Conte He experiences immorakist profound change in himself as a sort of rebirth, an emergence of his true, natural self that had previously been concealed from him.

At this point there occurs a reversal in the process of homoeroticism. With his new love of life, Michel loses gkde in studying a dead past. He is recently married to a woman he admits he does not love; but when he falls ill to tuberculosis her immpralist comfort wins him over.

First, we hid them to our loved ones or even to ourselves by not facing them heads on. View all 25 comments.

Menalque tells Michel that he had traveled in North Africa, following the path that Michel and Marceline had taken on their honeymoon. Many critics regarded Michel’s narrative as a celebration of behavior which hide in general deemed immoral. With nods towards Oscar Wilde, Albert Camus and the Paul Bowles novel “The Sheltering Sky”, Gide tries to weave out his story in an all too familiar fashion that was both never really interesting and was trying to add too much bulk into what is in essence a skinny novel.

Many of the important events in The Immoralist take place during Michel iimmoralist Marceline’s travels in the region of North Africa. Together they plan to carry out certain projects in agricultural imoralist.

To become fully human, men must have courage to kill the God that has infected the freedom of their will. Michel notes his “thrifty habits” and the “detached” quality of his life.

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