Grieux’s life fall apart due to the situations he and his lover, Manon, place themselves in. However, in a more in-depth, critical analysis of the work, as Brady suggests is necessary, the reader is led down a path of confusion as they are unable to decipher what he or she should and should not believe. For instance, in part one of the novel, Des Grieux finds a note which was written by his lover, Manon, in which she pours out her love for him while simultaneously breaking his heart by leaving him because she cannot bear to live in poverty. In an ordinary leisure reading style, this letter has a two-fold effect. On the one hand, it causes the reader to sympathize with Des Grieux as he or she begins to identify with Des Grieux and feel his heartbreak as he feels it. However, on the other hand, the reader also begins to develop, or rather deepen, his or her distrust for Manon as she seems heartless and unfaithful. Some of the reader’s dislike for Manon most likely surfaced when the reader, along with Des Grieux, discovered that Manon is the one who had written home to Des Grieux’s father about his whereabouts. On the
contrary, when the reader utilizes Brady’s in-depth analysis approach toward this letter, it produces many more questions than answers. Before the reader can even begin to question what Manon writes in the letter, he or she must first question if there is even a letter at all! Conversely, in her article Brady mentions that the “suspension of disbelief requires that we must believe Des Grieux because he is the ‘author’ of his story the same as we believe Prévost” (Brady 2). Unfortunately, as a reader, we can only analyze events and situations as they are depicted to us by the narrator, giving Des Grieux full control over what information will be presented to us, and what may be conveniently omitted. Thus, confusion is widespread among the readers now as there are conflicting directives to both question Des Grieux and his reliability and to also accept Des Grieux’s story as he is the one telling the story as it supposedly happened. Readers typically find it easier to do the latter because most people tend to take anything they hear as the truth without questioning it. Why would readers be so willing to accept his stories as truths? The answer is simply because that it how readers live, both inside and outside of literature. When a person hears someone tell a story about his or her past, one takes it to be the absolute truth. After all, what motive would someone have for falsifying a personal story? That isthe true question that emerges from Brady’s argument as she analyzes the possibilities as to why he would ruin his love’s name and reputation of he in fact truly did love her. On a very superficial level, Des Grieux seems to have tarnished her in his story in order to gain sympathy
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- Spring '14
- The Reader, des grieux, Manon