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...
(The entire section is 447 words.)