Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 229
Jealousy is a novel by Alain Robbe Grillet, a French author, written in 1957. The main characters of the novel are written in bold below:
Jealousy's original title in French is "la jalousie," which is a play on words as it can be translated to either "jealousy" or "the jealous window." This play on words refers to the fact that one of the main characters, a husband, spies on his wife through the blinds of a window, as he suspects she is having an affair. Readers might assume that this husband is the book's narrator. This is never confirmed however, as the narrator divulges very little about him or herself and in fact never even speaks in first person.
The focus of the narrator's tail is A..., the aforementioned wife who is the owner of a banana plantation in South America. A... is described as a beautiful woman who has developed a close friendship with her neighbor, Franck, also the owner of a banana plantation. While it is never confirmed, A...'s husband is suspicious that she is having an extramarital affair with Franck. The husband is suspicious of their friendship for a number of reasons, including the fact that Franck's wife, Christiane, does not accompany him on his visits to A...'s plantation. While the reader never meets Christiane at A...'s plantation, she is mentioned throughout the novel.
Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 447
The narrator, a person unidentified as to age or sex. The narrator of this unusual novel never refers to himself in the first person and in fact is never specifically identified as a person at all. The narrator is probably, however, the owner of the plantation and A . . . ’s husband. The repetition of the scenes he describes is evidence that the narrator is obsessed with them. The scenes at the dinner table, for example, suggest that the narrator lives at the plantation, because these descriptions always specify the number of places set, and invariably there is one extra place, which can only be for the narrator. It is possible that the narrator believes that his wife is having an affair with their neighbor, Franck. In French, the title of the novel not only means “jealousy” but is also a pun on jalousies, or Venetian blinds, the shutters through which the narrator frequently views scenes, a suggestion that he is spying on his wife and neighbor but also an indication of the narrowness and limitation of the point of view he presents.
A . . .
A . . . , a beautiful, dark-haired woman who lives in a house on an isolated banana plantation. She is characterized by a few simple repeated actions and by descriptions of certain of her possessions. She reads a book and discusses it with Franck, makes drinks for Franck (and perhaps for her husband—there is always a third glass set out), sits down to dinner, and goes shopping with Franck. On one shopping trip, she and Franck spend the night away at a hotel, ostensibly because his car broke down. The empty and repetitive nature of this existence suggests in itself a reason for her possible infidelity. The only evidence that she commits adultery seems to be circumstantial.
Franck, the owner of the neighboring banana plantation. His wife, Christiane, no longer accompanies him on his visits to the other plantation, providing another cause for the narrator’s suspicions. He explains the overnight stay after the shopping trip by admitting that he is a poor mechanic, which may suggest symbolically his inadequacy as a lover, offering an explanation for the return of A . . . and also for the end of the narrator’s jealousy (and therefore the end of the narrative).
Christiane, Franck’s wife. She never appears at the plantation that provides the setting for all the incidents of the novel. This...
(The entire section contains 1063 words.)
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