(Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

Chapter 1. Molloy is in his mother’s room, having been brought there after he ceased to walk. He is obliged to write out the story of how he ended there under orders from a thirsty man who collects his pages once a week on Sundays. He remembers what happened to bring him to this room. He remembers that he had been on a hilltop from which he watched two men, A and C, walking toward each other along a country road. The two meet, exchange a few words, and then go their separate ways. It is after he watches this encounter that Molloy decides to go on a quest for his mother. With his crutches fastened to his bicycle, he sets off, but when he reaches the walls of his town, he is arrested and questioned by a hostile police officer.

After his release, Molloy feels unwell, wanders to the countryside, and then returns to the town, where he runs over a dog. The dog’s owner, an old widow, Lousse, decides to adopt Molloy as a replacement for her lost pet. Lousse causes Molloy to recall other love affairs, and he realizes they all remind him of his mother. Although Lousse gives him a haven in her garden, Molloy feels trapped and threatened, and he worries that Lousse is drugging his food. Having lost his bicycle, Molloy escapes Lousse’s house on his crutches. He wanders around, considers suicide, and then finds himself at the seaside, where he renews the stock of sucking stones that keep him from feeling hungry. He spends some time trying to devise a mathematical order for the carrying and sucking of the stones.

Molloy moves into a forest, but his progress becomes...

(The entire section is 650 words.)