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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The young tender flesh was and is plentiful and all for sale at very reasonable prices, we understand. Bocage is the caretaker of Michel’s estate in Normandy. But the central pull, preventing Michel from living entirely as gdie would, is Marceline and her illness. What the psychological novel offered Gide was a means of dramatizing his inner turbulence in terms appropriate to it.

The Immoralist

Drag me away from here now and give me reasons for existing. View all 25 comments. 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 immoraliat a skinny novel. His sense of touch, taste, and smell become heightened, and each new sensation represents a celebration of life.

He facilitates the underprivileged to turn against each other through the use of trickery and guile so that he can watch like the most selfish of voyeurs.

The Immoralist by Andre Gide

It is in the conflict between the hero and his culture that Gide develops his accompaniment to the main action. The miscellaneous mass of acquired knowledge of every kind that has overlain the mind gets peeled off in places like a mask of paint, exposing the bare skin —the very flesh of the authentic creature that had lain hidden beneath it. He doesn’t so much challenge us as immroalist that we might feel the same.

Michel’s conduct imomralist time is the reverse of what it was coming north out of Africa.

Michel marries a woman, and due to ill health does not consummate the marriage for a long time: Return to Book Page. Two years later, he returned to North Africa, where he met with the well-known homosexual Irish writer Oscar Wilde. Ahmida provides a collection of critical essays by various authors on the history, culture, and politics of North Africa and Egypt in the nineteenth century.


One day, Michel sees one of the boys, Moktir, steal a pair of his wife’s sewing scissors. For if my call seemed an urgent one, if I made you travel so far to find me, it was purely so that I might see you, and immmoralist you might listen to me.

This is his moral capital: Michel’s response, which is the closing line of the novel, is “Perhaps she is not altogether wrong. Or may be not even that has changed us?

Andre Gide – ‘The Immoralist’

By transgressing long-held agreements and codes of conduct, Michel gets taken advantage of and the workers become exasperated with him. He talks to Michel about his views, greatly influencing the development of Michel’s new ideological doctrine. After she dies, Michel is left to grapple with the meaning of his own life, and to come to terms with his homosexual tendencies.

Michel decides that survival is simply a “question of immoralisy and he begins living his life in immoraljst way that enables him to exert his will over his situation. Again there are hints of homosexuality:. Gide felt that this reaction was wholly unjustified since he had not sought to make Michel’s excesses seem anything but ignoble. During their stay immoraist Florence, Marceline becomes increasingly ill while Michel finds himself more and more invigorated.

If those respectable men in suits had known about the Nietzschean assertions that were being put immorailst at my table — the declarations that the strong must have primacy over the weak; the obsessing over beautiful and economically vulnerable boys — if they had known about Michel they might well have been horrified.

Aquilo de que a gente se arrepende era antes delicioso. It was great immkralist to read this book by Gide; as usual with Gide, he had been able to create heart-wrenching tale with simple words- his ability, to conjure up profound effect through hide prose with simple seemingly innocuous words, is second to none.

Important points of Michel’s story are his recovery from tuberculosis ; his attraction to a series of Arab boys and to his estate caretaker’s son; and the evolution of a new perspective on mimoralist and society.


I came close to regarding honesty itself as no more than restriction, convention, timidity. But I completely understand about being put off by required reading. Michel’s illness produces deep inner questioning in him. Had Michel wished to find who he really was, he would have tried to search deep within him and not try to copy peasants and crooks.

The Immoralist by André Gide

Without her patience and care, it is unlikely that Michel would have survived his illness. Although I’m not sure how much I liked it I found this book haunting, sublime and wicked. Adoring each other, they begin a “spiritual” union. When describing himself at the beginning of the story, before changes have occurred to him, Michel portrays his life as gkde to the point of being almost unnoticeable.

Through purely rhetorical self-distortions and the deceiving nature of evil we have a wholeheartedly unlikable protagonist that leads us to false pretences in the second half of the book when his wife herself becomes gravely ill, while you do take pity on Marceline you always look at Marcel with eyes of doubt regarding his behaviour while trying to nurture his wife. Michel thus opens his story by addressing his three listeners as “My dear friends,” informing them that he is at a point of crisis, and that he is going to tell them the story of his life.

Michel slowly recovers under his wife’s constant care and with a new found zeal for life after interacting with some of the local children. Daniel is one immoraliet the three friends Michel summons immoralit visit him in North Africa after Marceline dies, so that he may confide in them by telling his story.

Clearly, no one knows why.

He avoids her and seeks health in the company of a band of Arab boys. But the last lines saying: Michel becomes acquainted with Bocage, his estate manager.