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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 270

Two key quotes from Françoise Sagan's novella I would like to focus on are both expressive of closing or summarizing thoughts. At the end of chapter 2, Cécile, the narrator, states that "I visualized a life of degradation and moral turpitude as my ideal." This is one of the things that must have especially shocked Sagan's first readers. It is not just that she is presenting a story in which the moral principles of the time (the 1950s) are being ignored. Cécile seems actually to be a young girl of immoral principles. But as the story plays out, we see that this is not really the case. Her jealousy regarding her father's relationships with other women is, in some way, understandable, and though she plots to break up his impending marriage, her steps to do so somehow don't seem as outlandish as they could have been. Her relationship with her boyfriend Cyril does not develop as quickly as one might expect it to in the modern age. And she feels genuine regret at the outcome in which her father's fiancée Anne is killed in a car crash.

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Cécile's conclusion from the events she has witnessed and caused is that life is dominated by things both inexplicable and, in some sense, random. Instead of carelessly and hedonistically accepting this, she accepts it with sadness, as the title of the novella would indicate. The book's closing sentence is: "Something rises in me that I call to by name with closed eyes: Hello, sadness!" It is somehow indicative, like the entire story, of a young girl's coming of age.

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