illustrated portrait of main character Manon Lescaut sitting in an elegant dress and fanning herself

Manon Lescaut

by Abbé Prévost

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Why were Manon and des Grieux arrested in Manon Lescaut?

Quick answer:

In Manon Lescaut, Manon and the Chevalier des Grieux are arrested twice, first when they carry out a scheme against Monsieur de GMand run off with jewelry and money and, second, when they try to swindle his son.

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In Manon Lescaut, young lovers Manon and the Chevalier des Grieux run away together. The chevalier's father sends servants to get him and take him home. Then his father locks him up for six weeks, after which the chevalier goes to school.

Manon, however, reappears in des Grieux's life when she attends one of his disputations. The two embrace, and the chevalier forgets all about school. They run away again and set up housekeeping in Paris. For a while, they do well, but a fire and then a robbery set them back to poverty.

At this point, Manon becomes the mistress of a man known only as Monsieur de G——M——. She enters his household with the promise of money, servants, and jewels and even brings the chevalier with her as her "brother." After M. de G——M—— makes a settlement on Manon, the young couple runs away with plenty of money and jewels. However, M. de G——M—— notices that he has been deceived and sends the police after them. Manon and des Grieux are arrested and imprisoned. Before long, however, the chevalier escapes and then hurries to free Manon.

The young couple is, however, arrested again after a failed attempt to take advantage of M. de G——M——'s son. The chevalier's father gains his son's release, but he will do nothing for Manon. When she is sentenced to go to Louisiana, des Grieux goes with her, and the couple's adventures continue in America.

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