Last Updated September 5, 2023.
Jealousy by Alain Robbe-Grillet takes place on a banana plantation somewhere in South America. The story opens with a portrait of one of the main characters, A..., whom the reader learns is the very beautiful owner of the plantation. Though it is never confirmed, the reader might assume that the narrator of the story is A...'s husband. The husband is very jealous of A... and is suspicious that she is having an affair with their neighbor, Franck. From the start of the story, Franck and A... clearly have a connection, perhaps a close friendship, but possibly something more. Franck and his wife Christiane supposedly used to visit A...'s plantation together, but by the start of the story, Franck is in the habit of visiting alone.
One night, while Franck is visiting for dinner, he mentions that he needs to go into town the following week to purchase a new truck and take care of a few other business matters. He invites A... along with him, offering that she might go shopping while he takes care of his errands. She happily accepts his invitation.
The following week, Franck and A... go on their day trip as planned, but they do not return in the evening. They instead arrive back at the plantation the following day, explaining that they had mechanical issues with the car that required them to stay in town while waiting for a repair. The narrator claims that A... and Franck exchange guilty glances as they explain their tardiness, but it is unclear if this is true or just telling of the husband's paranoia. However, there are some other clues that might hint that A... and Franck have not been fully truthful. For instance, A... has returned home with no purchases, even though she supposedly spent a whole day shopping.
Later, another important scene in the novel takes place with all three protagonists: A..., her husband, and Franck. The three of them are at the dinner table when A... sees a centipede and Franck quickly gets up and squishes it. This incident is retold several times, seemingly implying the narrator's obsession with the situation.
Ultimately, Jealousy ends in a very unresolved place with no real conclusion. The relationship between A... and Franck remains as undefined and unknown as the identity of the narrator.