Books and Movies Reviews

Critiquing the diary of Jules Renard

Jules Renard seems to have had a pretty full life. He grew up with a distant father, “His father stopped talking to his wife after Jules was born…remained largly indifferent to his son…”His mother appears to bit quite an eccentric, “a bigot…a compulsive talker and fibber.” But it seems later in life, he was happy. This section seems to be written near his wedding day; “If I were a bird, I would sleep only in the clouds.” It seems to me, Jules is expressing a feeling of great happiness. But then it almost seems that he slips out of that excitment. Jules had a great anger against “hypocrocy and sham”. “We no longer know what love is. The thing itself is lost, drowned in a verbal deluge.” It would appear to me that he is trying to say how sometimes people pervert situations. He felt that love had become just another unimportant expression, easy come, easy go. It is taken for granted. ” A boy from an orphan asylum….receives 120 francs for fifteen months. I am thoughtless enough to say it is not much…he says with pride: ‘…you get your washing done, and a pair of shoes.’ ” This young man didn’t take anything for granted. What others saw as not enough, he saw as more than enough.I think Jules was trying to convey his gratitude for what he had.Hw was elected Mayor of his home town in 1904 and had become a successful author. Through all of this, he never seemed to lose his appreciation of it all, of even being alive. “…all my forced parodixes, my hatred of the conventional, my contempt for the commonplace, do not prevent me from turning soft on thefirst day of spring…” This is my favorite, “I cannot look at the leaf of a tree without being crushed by the universe.” That line seems to say that regardless of whether it’s a leaf, or the entire universe, they are both of greatness. They are both significant. It is obvious that Jules was an extremely greatful man for all he had been blessed with, and tried to appeal to others …

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