Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)

*Cité Monthiers

*Cité Monthiers (sih-tay mon-tee-er). District in Paris situated between the rue de Clichy and the rue d’Amsterdam. It is the site of the Lycée Condorcet, whose pupils use its streets as a playground. It is there that Paul is laid low by Dargelos’s stone-loaded snowball; the incident gives rise to his temporary confinement and his friendship with Gérard. The master’s residence, in an oblong court—which is inaccessible from the rue de Clichy because the way is blocked by wrought iron gates and hidden from the rue d’Amsterdam by a block of tenements—provides an image of confinement complementary to that of the Room.

Rue Lafitte

Rue Lafitte. Street on which Gérard’s home stands. There he lives with his guardian before moving into the house that Elisabeth inherits from Michael. In spite of Gérard’s apparent importance within the story, it never figures as a setting; when Gérard and Paul meet outside the house in the rue Montmartre they do so in cafés (their one brief long-range excursion to an unspecified seaside resort is a disaster whose risk they are not tempted to repeat).

The Room

The Room. Initially a fantasized enlargement of the children’s bedroom in their house in the rue Montmartre, beheld and sustained by virtue of their ability to enter the “Game.” The Game is a state of altered self-consciousness of which all children are capable,...

(The entire section is 579 words.)