The Fall, By Albert Camus

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The Fall, by Albert Camus is the fictional, first person confession of Jean-Baptiste Clamence, a Parisian emigrant, and a judge-penitent. In The Fall, the reader is unsure whether the "you" character really is sitting at the bar with Jean-Baptiste and doubt as to who this character may be but, as the novel progresses, you come to understand that the "you" character is you, the reader. Jean-Baptiste is addressing the reader the entire time and “you” is a figment of Jean-Baptiste’s imagination. The reader meets Jean-Baptiste Clamence in the Mexico City bar, and he begins his confession. He speaks of his successful career in Paris, his simply way of living, and his self-satisfaction, all enduring until the night he heard the laughter coming from the water as he crossed the bridge over the Seine. Jean-Baptiste’s "confession" outlines for the reader a predicament, a list of attempted and failed solutions, a grand cure-all solution that is not yet possible, and a solution that he thinks is temporarily working. Jean-Baptiste’s goal in confessing his sins to the reader is to garner understanding, he fears nothing more than being judged. All of his actions are driven by the fear of being judged, and his motives are simply the result of this fear and that is revealed through the laughter, his altruism and duplicity and the Just Judges painting. One of Clamence’s debilities and the central matter of the novel is his fear of being judged. One of the first incidents that shattered
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