The Bourne Identity | Study Guide

Robert Ludlum

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The Bourne Identity | Book 3, Chapter 24 | Summary

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Summary

Marie St. Jacques explains that the man she called on the phone is André François Villiers. He is an old- guard French politician, a veteran of the Algerian wars, and a right-winger. His son, also a conservative politician, was murdered—terrorism. André François Villiers left the Army and ran for the National Assembly in the wake of his son's death. How did this man's private phone number end up on an index card at Les Classiques?

They decide to visit General Villiers at his home in the neighborhood of Parc Monceau. Jason Bourne scopes the area. If General Villiers is involved with a criminal mastermind, why is his residence unprotected? As Jason lurks near the house, a maid and a butler come out, discussing preparing the general's car for the evening. Jason will intercept him then, following him in his borrowed Renault.

Jason Bourne follows André François Villiers onto an isolated road outside the city. Finally, the old man pulls into a countryside restaurant. Scaling the restaurant's walls to reach the private dining room on the second floor, Jason sees Villiers is leading a meeting of military types his own age. Are they in league with Carlos? Jason decides to trap General Villiers as he leaves the restaurant.

Analysis

It is unclear if Ludlum intended to shed light on political or internal hypocrisies by having André François Villiers help Jason Bourne. The Algerian War (1945–1962) was one of the first of the great anti-colonial uprisings, resulting in the massacre of thousands of Algerian citizens. It was also one of the first examples of modern day terrorism. As a French general, André François Villiers must have been involved in the deaths of many Algerians. In the present time Villiers's meeting with the old soldiers, and his political views, leave doubts about his character. Once again Ludlum provokes his reader into asking the question, "Who is the bad guy?" André François Villiers will save Jason Bourne. In fact, Jason Bourne and André François Villiers are not so different after all. Each fights in wars for independence, and each has blood on his hands. Each suffers the loss of their children and other relatives. Each finds new hope with a beautiful and intelligent woman. In André François Villiers case, however, that choice doesn't work out so well.

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