Tristan Bernard's 'I'm Going!': An Analysis

1898 Words8 Pages
Tristan Bernard's "I'm Going!" is a "comedy in one act," the dramatic counterpart to a prose short story like Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace." Both of these modern works of French literature reveal issues such as gender roles and gender norms within a traditional heterosexual marriage framework. The stories suggest tensions between traditional patriarchy and the more egalitarian gender norms that are transforming the way couples relate. Both "I'm Going!" and "The Necklace" take place in an urban setting and also show how issues like social class can impact the domestic partnership. For Henri and Jeanne in "I'm Going!" it is how they use their conspicuous leisure time that forms the central conflict in the "comedy in one act." Clearly Henri and Jeanne are of the upper class or bourgeoisie. On the contrary, Mathilde and her husband are of the working class and by the end of the story are outright poor. Their socio-economic class status adds tension and a unique dynamic to the Loisel relationship, as it helps to define the protagonists' characters. Therefore, gender norms and socio-economic class define the couples and the individual characters in Tristan Bernard's "I'm Going!" and Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace." "I'm Going!" begins with Henri and Jeanne in their apartment in Paris, and the entire one-act farce takes place in the same scene. Bernard immediately introduces a central tension between the husband and wife; he is "a little nervous" when she asks to go to

More about Tristan Bernard's 'I'm Going!': An Analysis

Open Document