Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Paul and Elisabeth live with their paralyzed mother in an old quarter of Paris. They exist in a private, instinctual world, dissociated from adults by passivity, imagination, and secret, mysterious rites. One night, when the quarter is transformed by snow, Paul wanders among the snowballing groups in search of the school hero Dargelos, whom he worships. Dargelos, who possesses great charm, is both vicious and beautiful. As Paul moves toward him, Dargelos, perhaps accidentally, knocks him down with a stone-packed snowball. Although he injures Paul, he escapes immediate punishment but is later expelled from the school. Paul is taken home by Gérard, who loves Paul as much for his weakness as Paul loves Dargelos for his strength. Elisabeth is extremely angry with them when they reach Paul’s home. Sixteen years old, two years older than Paul, she is utterly absorbed in her brother She is frequently transported by fury when he appears to be leaving her sphere of influence.
The three children go into the Room where Paul and Elisabeth eat, sleep, read, fight, and play the Game. The Room is the central fixture in their lives; the Game is their inner world. The Room exists in a chaos of boxes, clothes, papers, and books. Paul leaves it only for school and Elisabeth only to look after their mother or to buy magazines. Essentially the Game is daydreaming, a willed withdrawal to an imaginary world of submerged consciousness. After Elisabeth sends Gérard away, she...
(The entire section is 1200 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Enfants Terribles Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!