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The Fall - Essay Example

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The fall is a book that written in the 1950s about a man called Jean Baptist Clemence’s life in Paris and later in Amsterdam. It is a narrative told by the protagonist of the story about his fall from grace and his subsequent efforts at redeeming himself from his prior life of hypocrisy and selfishness. …
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The Fall

The book explores the themes of redemption, self gratification and personal growth and offers a critical view of the protagonist’s views and experiences during the Second World War. This essay sets out to take an analytical survey at the character’s attempt at reinventing himself. Jean Baptist was a lawyer, who had built a reputation for himself as being a good defense lawyer, who helped the less fortunate fight for justice where they could not afford to hire the services of one. He used to give alms to beggars on the streets and offer his aid to blind people cross the streets. His good charitable deeds made him feel different from other people who he saw as being hypocritical and selfish. His kindly deeds fed his ego and made him feel righteous. One day when he was heading home, he came across a woman on the Pont de Art Bridge standing on the ledge staring down at the water. He did not pause to afford even the woman a glance, but just passed her, and after a few paces, he heard a loud scream and the sound of a body splashing the water down below. Jean Baptist did nothing to help the woman who was swept away screaming for help. The incident of the woman who committed suicide on the Pont de Art Bridge marked the turning point of Jean Baptist’s life. ...
He came to the realization it was a form of show off to the passersby. At this moment, he realized that he was a far much worse hypocrite and selfish than those he criticized among his peers and government. He tried convincing himself that he failed to rescue the woman because rescuing her, involved risking his own personal safety, so it was better off that he did not help her so that he could continue helping others. No matter how hard he tried to justify his actions on that day, his conscience did not allow him to feel better about himself. Jeans Baptist Clemence’s realization that he was no different from leaders, in government and his peers, triggered the process of trying to justify himself by denouncing the exact principles that he stood by and jeopardized his career, in the process. No one believed his utterances because according to his reputation and how people knew him, he could only have been joking. He said, “I wish I could wring the beggar’s necks and beat them up in the streets” (Horton 48). Jean Baptist proclaimed that the poor and the oppressed were oppressing the decent working class of people, and wished they could be banished from the streets. People around him and his friends who knew him well and understood him well thought he was just making fun. This got Jean Baptist frustrated and he started avoiding his friends and immersing himself into alcohol. He stopped practicing law and ruined his reputation. The World War started during, his dramatic turn around, and France was occupied by the German forces. He endeavors to believe that he is a reputable man, but he finds himself in a society that is full of forgeries (Horton 35). Horton relates this to Jean Baptist’s situation because ... Read More
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