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The Fall

The Fall

by Albert Camus

The Fall Analysis

Literary Devices in The Fall

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

The moment when Jean-Baptiste first hears laughter coming from the darkness of the water is big turning point. It’s what knocks him off the "bad faith wagon," so to speak. Of course, it’...

Setting

"Chance, convenience, irony, and also the necessity for a certain mortification made me choose a capital of waters and fogs, girdled by canals, particularly crowded, and visited by men from all cor...

Narrator Point of View

(A technical note before we start: though The Fall does create a "you" character, it’s still considered a first-person narrative.)Point of view is fascinating in The Fall. As a narrator, Jean...

Genre

The Fall has been characterized as Modernist because it is so steeped in uncertainty and because Jean-Baptiste seems to defy any clear interpretation. Check out this passage:Isn’t it the most...

Tone

Reading The Fall can be a bit taxing on your brain. We can’t trust anything. Everything is foggy, confusing, potentially fake, potentially ironic, maybe even a big joke – it’s as...

Writing Style

You would have to read The Fall in the original French to see what we’re talking about when we call it "formal." The text reads like a rather stiff, linguistically proper confession, making u...

What’s Up With the Title?

The idea of "The Fall," like every important concept in the novel, takes on more than one meaning. We’ll explore three of these meanings here, but you can come up with more.The most obvious i...

What’s Up With the Epigraph?

"Some were dreadfully insulted, and quite seriously, to have held up as a model such an immoral character as A Hero of Our Time; others shrewdly noticed that the author had portrayed himself and hi...

What’s Up With the Ending?

There’s a lot to talk about in the last few paragraphs of The Fall. In short, Jean-Baptiste Clamence’s conclusion calls into question all of the arguments he makes in his "confession."...

Plot Analysis

Scholars have had a lot to say about the plot structuring of the novel. We’ve read everything from a super-cool theory that the plot is circular – like the canals of Amsterdam or Dante&...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Scholars have had a lot to say about the plot structuring of the novel. We’ve read everything from a super-cool theory that the plot is circular – like the canals of Amsterdam or Dante&...

Three Act Plot Analysis

You meet Jean-Baptiste Clamence in the Mexico City bar, and he begins his "confession." You hear all about his amazing career in Paris, his ease of living, and his self-satisfaction, all lasting ri...

Trivia

If you thought religion in The Fall was confusing, look at what Camus had to say: "I do not believe in God and I am not an atheist." Oh… (Source: Camus's Notebooks)There’s a "post-punk"...

Steaminess Rating

There’s no explicit sex, but Jean-Baptiste Clamence basically outlines his guidebook for how to be successful with the ladies. The juiciest bits of this novel come in when Jean-Baptiste decid...

Allusions

Lohengrin, Arthurian Legend (1.13)Dante (4.13)Inferno (1.14 explicitly, the novel’s setting in general)D’Artagnan, from The Three Musketeers (3.15)Janus (3.9)Gabriel-Joseph de La Vergne...

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