'To know how to free oneself is nothing; the arduous thing is to know what to do with one's freedom' - Andre Gide. Michel had been a blindfold scholar until, newly married, he contracted tuberculosis. His will to recover brings self-discovery and the growing desire to rebel against his background of culture, decency and morality. But the freedom ...
'To know how to free oneself is nothing; the arduous thing is to know what to do with one's freedom' - Andre Gide. Michel had been a blindfold scholar until, newly married, he contracted tuberculosis. His will to recover brings self-discovery and the growing desire to rebel against his background of culture, decency and morality. But the freedom from constraints that Michel finds on his restless travels is won at great cost. And freedom itself, he finds, can be a burden. Gide's novel examines the inevitable conflicts that arise when a pleasure seeker challenges conventional society and, without moralizing, it raises complex issues involving the extent of personal responsibility.
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My book club selected this book. I really disliked it. I know it's about an immoral man, but I didn't see the point. The main character contradicts himself at every turn, is self centered and had no redeeming qualities that I could see. It is a blessing the book is short. It is supposed to be a classic, and I will be interested to find out what my other book club readers thought of it. In the story, this man's friends travel a great distance at his request to ease his distress at being such a jerk. I couldn't understand why they would do so. It struck me as a violent story, though not physically so, and it might be to some a way to examine man's choices, except the author gave no reasons for this man's behavior, other than that he found the sensual world after being a bookish scholar.
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