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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #1

Life became less easy for me: when the body is sad the heart languishes. It seemed to me that I was half unlearning what I had never learned and yet knew so well – how to live. Yes, I think it was probably then that everything began (3.2).

Memory has to do with Jean-Baptiste’s transformation; after all, the whole process comes about when he was reminded of an event he forgot. Knowledge, then – more specifically in this case, memory – is dangerous, and powerful enough to change the life of Jean-Baptiste.

Quote #2

I know mine in any case: a double face, a charming Janus, and above it the motto of the house: "Don’t rely on it." On my cards: "Jean-Baptiste Clamence, play actor" (3.9).

Transformation is built into Jean-Baptiste’s character and the duplicity of his nature.

Quote #3

Along with a few other truths, I discovered these facts little by little in the period following the evening I told you about. Not all at once nor very clearly. First I had to recover my memory. By gradual degrees I saw more clearly, I learned a little of what I knew (3.11).

"Learning" in this case has to do with awareness; Jean-Baptiste isn’t so much gaining new knowledge as he is becoming aware of truths he already knew. In a nutshell, that’s what his "transformation" really is – increased awareness.

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