Andri, a twenty-year-old who was brought up in Andorra (not the small European country but a “model”) in the belief that he is a Jew whom his foster father, the teacher, rescued from persecution by the “blacks” across the border. Since then, the Andorrans have forced him into the role of an outsider and to behave like their stereotypical notion of a Jew—a rootless, greedy, lustful, heartless, oversensitive coward. Learning that he is not a Jew exacerbates his confusion and anguish. Having been ferreted out by the totalitarian “Jew-detector,” Andri finally is dragged to his doom by the invading blacks while his fellow Andorrans look on passively.
The teacher, named Can, a man who drinks heavily in an attempt to drown his sorrow over the stupidity, cupidity, and hypocrisy of his fellow Andorrans. As a young, idealistic gadfly and firebrand, he called his pupils’ attention to the many untruths in their textbooks. Now, however, the man who cravenly disowned his son Andri has a chilling sense of doom and attempts in vain to atone for his cowardice and deception. He is the only Andorran who offers resistance to the nightmarish invaders, but eventually he feels compelled to hang himself in his schoolroom.
Barblin, the teacher’s teenage daughter. She falls in love with Andri without realizing that their union would be incestuous. Barblin suffers the...
(The entire section is 511 words.)