Physical Setting In Francoise Sagan's Novel Bonjour Tristesse

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In Francoise Sagan’s novel, Bonjour Tristesse, Cecile, the 17-year-old narrator, is on vacation with her father, Raymond, and with all of these other women in Raymond’s love life. The specific physical settings of the novel play significant roles in the development of the story, especially in Cecile’s plan to reunite Elsa and Raymond. One place in the novel that plays a significant role in the plot is the terrace. The terrace is a central location in the novel, where there is an escalation in the emotions of each event that takes place there, as well as the development and revolution of characters. The terrace acts as a public space in the villa for Cecile and Raymond while they are on vacation. There are many emotions revealed by the character’s…show more content…
This is very different in comparison to the pine woods. The characters of the novel often enter the pine woods seeking privacy and more intimacy than the terrace can give them. The irony of these settings is that throughout the novel, any scene that takes place in the pine woods is often interrupted. For example, one of the first intimate scenes in the pine woods is with Cecile and Cyril. Cecile says, “One evening Anne’s voice separated us. Cyril was lying against me. We were half-naked in the red glow of the sunset, and I can understand that Anne might have been deceived by what she saw” (Sagan 47). Cecile identifies this as one of their first physically intimate moments together, and they are interrupted by Anne, who suspects that they are getting too close and warns Cecile to stay away from Cyril, although nothing actually happened. The irony of the use of this space is that the characters of the novel mean for it to be a private and intimate place, but in reality, they are constantly being intruded upon and cannot find a truly private place to be alone. This makes the pine woods more similar to the terrace than it is different, although the characters intended the usage of the spaces to be

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