The Symbolism of Vipers in "Wandering Star" and "L’Enfant et la guerre" by J.M.G. Le Clézio Cover Image

La symbolique des vipères dans "Étoile errante" et "L’Enfant et la guerre" de J.M.G. Le Clézio
The Symbolism of Vipers in "Wandering Star" and "L’Enfant et la guerre" by J.M.G. Le Clézio

Author(s): Natalia Nielipowicz
Subject(s): Studies of Literature, French Literature, Theory of Literature
Published by: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: J.M.G. Le Clézio; symbolic dimension of vipers; ecopoetic; Second World War; Wandering Star; L’Enfant et la guerre
Summary/Abstract: The article is an ecopoetic reading that leads to a reflection on the symbolic meaning of vipers that appear in "Wandering Star" and in "L’Enfant et la guerre". These snakes living on a riverbank are linked to, on one hand, an impression of freedom and happiness experienced by children venturing into the viper territory and, on the other hand, a memory or announcement of the death of the protagonists. This bipolar symbolic dimension is embodied in the figure of the resistance fighter, who first shows the nests of the vipers and the large fields of grass to children and then loses his life during the war. His struggle, added to the recollection of the aquatic element, the river and the vipers, refers to the tragedy of the Jews fleeing Nice during the summer of 1943. The presence of the reptiles evokes feelings linking the protagonists of the two texts with the world of their childhood memories.

  • Page Range: 117-126
  • Page Count: 10
  • Publication Year: 2022
  • Language: French