Summary (Masterplots II: World Fiction Series)
Blue Boy is a fictionalized autobiography of Jean Giono’s boyhood. Although much of the story is seen through the eyes of the young Jean, the novel is written in the lyrical style and language and with the voluptuousness and mystical insight which characterize Giono’s greatest works. Sensuousness, the benign figure of Jean’s father, Pere Jean, and an intensely tender and loving regard for human suffering and for the beauties of the world provide a unity of tone and subject matter.
The first five chapters are dominated by three powerful influences on the young boy: his father, the life in a courtyard where “the night stayed from morning till evening,” and music. Blue Boy is both the moving story of a father’s subtle cultivation, enfranchisement, and liberation of a beloved son, and a son’s loving tribute to his father.
Jean’s earliest memories are of his father with his blue cobbler’s apron sitting in his workroom with “a shoe in one hand and the awl in the other” talking with men who have come to him not for new boots but for help, who have come to be healed. By his example and later by his words, Pere Jean encourages his son to become a healer, to use his gift with words to minister to human suffering and loneliness: “I tell you that you must put out the wounds. If, when you get to be a man, you know these two things, poetry and the science of extinguishing wounds, then you will be a man.”...
(The entire section is 1318 words.)
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