Suicide in the novels of Georges Bernanos

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ann Femia Del Tatto (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Roch Smith

Abstract: Critics have sometimes dismissed the novels of Georges Bernanos as being limited in scope by Bernanos' Roman Catholic beliefs. It was the purpose of this study to question such criticism. By an analysis of the problem of suicide, a recurring motif in the fiction of Bernanos which challenges traditional Catholic teaching, this study demonstrates that, in his novels, Bernanos goes beyond the confines of Church doctrine and identifies the problems of modern man. After careful consideration of Bernanos' eight novels, it was discovered that there seemed to be a pattern by which Bernanos explored different perspectives of man tempted by suicide. Chapter One of this study introduces the issues. Chapter Two is devoted to Bernanos' first and last two novels, respectively, novels in which Bernanos depicted his heroes, those who struggled against despair. At the same time this chapter discusses the changes in Bernanos* approach towards this character type as regards the motif of suicide. Chapter Three attends to the five remaining or middle novels in which Bernanos explored the plight of the mediocre man who tries to avoid confronting the reality of his life. These five novels form the links between Bernanos' first and last works, exhibiting the process of Bernanos' evolving sympathy for man.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1977
Bernanos, Georges, $d 1888-1948 $x Criticism and interpretation
Bernanos, Georges, $d 1888-1948 $x Characters
Suicide in literature

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