Diversité - Stories
|Bonjour, Maman! Bonne Fete, Maman!||This story is told through the eyes of teenage girl who is writing an imaginary letter to her estranged mother. She writes about the story her grandmother told her about why her parents left, and she goes on to tell her mother how mad she is for what she did. She also goes on to list everything she missed out on by not having either of her parents present in her life. The story has a sense of sarcasm and irony in it because in the first part she refuses to write a mother's day card, but in the end she writes this emotional letter which ends with a mother's day greeting. |
Themes: Exile, Irony
|La Noire de...||The story of a woman who leaves her home to come and work in France as a maid for a wealthy family. She is treated so horribly by her employers, and especially by the children she has to take care of, and misses her home so much that she ends up slitting her throat in the bathtub. The worst part is that even this doesn't really attract a lot of attention from the family or the newspapers. |
Themes: Exile, Rich v. Poor
|Pour Empêcher un Mariage||The story of a young girl sent off across Canada with her mother to stop her older sister Georgiana from marrying a boy who is probably of a lower class. On the way to her sister's and at her sister's house she learns something of love. Her father doesn't want Georgiana getting married because he thinks the boy is beneath her, but her mother is worried Georgiana is too young. On the train ride back the train tracks are blown up by the "Doukhobors," a religious sect that immigrated to Canada from Russia. The train is evacuated and the girl hears others talking about how immigrants are bad and she wants to say that her father has no problem with the Doukhobors, but her mother keeps her quiet. They get ferried across the river then put on another train and continue home.|
Themes: Class Divisions, Immigration and Alienation
|le mur ou les charmes d'une vie conjugale||"The Wall or the charms of a married life" is the story of a troubled marriage, one that has become dulled with age. The story portrays the narrator, Mariée, and her husband, and their interaction for twenty-four hours. The woman desperately wants to have a meaningful conversation with her husband, a meaningful connection, however she can't seem to engage him no matter her attempts. He hasn't spoken to her in weeks. |
Mariée has a job and at one point acknowledges that she could leave but she doesn't know how to be a singular person in the world, even if her current partner is more a wall than a companion. She also acknowledges that she could commit suicide but she casts it off as a joke--it wouldn't do anything, she wouldn't even be there to see if the Wall would shed a tear. The story comes to its climax when Mariée's frustration comes to a boiling point and, while in bed, she jumps on top of her husband, tears off her nightgown, laughs, and makes dramatic gestures--trying to get him to break his deadening calm. He looks at her, surprised, adjusts his glasses, and continues to read without so much as a word.
Themes: Isolation, feminism, loneliness, ignorance, abandonment and revolt.
|Une Lettre||a mom who is writing her son a letter from a nursing home. She spends her birthday with some the "sisters" (but they are not nuns). She asks her son about what is going on at home with the garden and their pear trees, |
She mentions how people where she lives go to bed very early, and how she re-arranged her room and she tried to explain how it looks, because her son has never been there before.
It is very obvious that she wants her son to visit, but she does not directly ask throughout the book, but she does mention that the doctor makes a remark about how little her kids visit.
Themes: isolation, loneliness, abandonment
|L'ombre et l'absent||a soldier goes off to war, and his wife and infant son are left alone for an extended period of time. The wife creates a shadow at night that her son sees as his "father." This is repeated every night until the husband returns from war. When the wife and husband reunite, neither of them show their excitement or true emotions. |
The husband tries to reintroduce himself to his son, but he doesn't recognize him, and says that his real father has visited him every night (thinking of the shadow.) The soldier is convinced that his wife was unfaithful to him while he was gone, but because of his pride won't ask her about it. Their lives go on, and the husband and wife's relationship becomes extremely strained, when finally the soldier refuses to let her enter a temple, which is the equivalent of accusing her of being unfaithful. She becomes so desolate that she drowns herself. When the father returns home, he accidentally creates the same shadow, and his son finally calls him father. The soldier realizes what he has done, and goes to the river to try to repent for what he did to his innocent wife.
Themes: Strained relationships, stuck in old tradition, lack of communication, abandonment
|Il n'y a pas d'exil||The story follows a woman, who remains anonymous the entire time, and her family and friend in Tunisia where they reside because they are refugees from the war that is currently being fought in their home of Algeria. The women in the story are expected to be completely obedient and always at the service of the men. While some of the women comply to this social pressure, other don't especially the narrator and her neighbor Hafça. In the beginning of the story their neighbors son dies after being hit by a car. Later in the story, death is brought up again when the subject of war arises. Hafça mentions she has never seen a dead body before. In the story, three women come to house with the desire to set the narrator up with a husband. She strongly refuses and says she has other desires in life, different from a lot of the women she knows. Throughout the book, there is a window that she often stares out of and open and closes, it connects her to the outside world where most of her aspirations and opinions are. Near the end, Hafça has a conversation with the narrators dad in which he says "there is no exile". At the very end Hafça and the narrator discuss the other women and how they are being exiled and do nothing to stop it. They talk about how they do not want it for themselves, and want more of their lives.|
Themes: feminism, exile, religion, refugees, loneliness, death
|le temps ne passe pas||This story is about two people, Zobeide and Daoud who once fell in love. The narrator (Daoud) is constantly taunted with ideas of the past things that he has done with Zobeide who disappeared very abruptly one day. Zobeide left him with a photo of herself when she was young and Daoud is awed by her mysterious nature. Originally from an Arab country, Zobeide struggles to trust people and to fit into the society. Dauod tries to help her, and they spend a night together on the roof of an abandoned building. When Zobeide disappears, Daoud is only left with the photo and his own memories that he keeps replaying in his mind. |
Themes: exil from society, relationships, cultural differences
|La Femme Adultere||The story takes place in the middle of the desert in Algeria. Janine (remember that name) follows her husband on what is most likely a business trip. Marcel doesn't care about anything other his job. He is unmoved by everything in his surroundings to the extent that even annoying flies are invisible to him. Janine is lonely and unhappy with her marriage. From the moment she gets off the bus, Camus drives home the theme of isolation. The only people in this foreign land are bearded and cold Arab men who all look the same. This means that estranged Janine will be incapable of making any personal connections. Throughout the story, Janine is preoccupied with everything other than Marcel. On the bus ride, Janine tries flirting with a soldier but fails. She lies to Marcel when she leaves the fort they're staying at to walk around in the desert. From her thoughts alone, Janine feels like she has commit adultery. Her lies show that she feels guilty of a more abstract form of infidelity.|
|Le cauchemar||a young woman is lost in a town. she's new to town, and just arrived from the train (maybe?) station. she's lost in the center of town and everyone is jostling her around. there are people yelling at her, telling her to buys things and get out of the way and whatnot. at some point she gets knocked down, and a cart pulled by animals is bearing down on her, about to crush her. she finds herself unable to cry out or move. then, when she's about to be run over, she wakes up. she's in her own bed; she gets up, puts on her bathrobe and walks to her indoor pool. there she dives into the pool while being watched by her hired help. I'm pretty sure at one point she's underwater long enough that her servants get nervous that she's dying, but then she resurfaces.|