n French Studies in Southern Africa - Enfance et adolescence dans l'univers théâtrale de Henry Millon de Montherlant




The dramatic works, novels and essays of Montherlant convey for the most part his pessimistic vision of the world as well as his misogynistic and arrogant attitude toward his fellow man. The present study examines the single note of optimism that pervades Montherlant's plays: that which is evoked by the role of the young boy or the adolescent. Further examination reveals that it is only until the age of 13 years that the young bring joy and delight or in fact deserve it themselves. Thereafter they prefigure their fathers and metamorphose into ungrateful, mediocre beings. They join the gallery of bitter, harsh and lonely men who populate the plays of Montherlant. The relationships, betrayals and misunderstandings between adult and youth, be it father and son, priest and boy, mother and child illustrate the theme examined in this article.


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