Truth can play many roles in one’s life. There are two types of truth in literature: Absolute truth and worldly truth. The absolute truth comprises of ideal teachings for example not all that glitters is gold while the worldly truth comprises of facts that we live by in this world. Every protagonist in a story has challenges to face and a truth to tell or live up to. This study will focus on three novels and the consequences of the quest for truth for each of the protagonists. The novels are : Ashini, Le vrai monde and Bousille et Les justes.
The Quest For Truth By Ashini, Claude and Bousille
In the book Bousille et les justes, Bousille witnesses his cousin Aime murder a man which makes him the key witness for that case. Aimé’s family conspires to make him lie in court. The family succeeds in making Bousille lie but since he’s very religious and views lying as a grave sin, he commits suicide. In his quest for truth and to tell it to the court he loses his life. The role of truth in Bousille et les justes is to create and break social bonds depending on if a character chooses to tell the truth or lie.
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Ashini, a descendant of the great Abenaki race, a comer from the south, a researcher of great forest ( Ashini, page 22) is the protagonist in the book Ashini. Its in this book that the effects of civilization are portrayed whereby the people that produce the land and resources to enable it are left with the bare minimum. The whites visited Ashini with the offer to build better houses for them and create jobs and thus needed his help to convince his people to agree to modernization. The forest was cleared and big houses were built. However, the whites created territories to restrict the Abedinaki from going in. This reveals the truth in the western man not being able to appreciate the difference among the people and offer equality to everyone regardless of the race. “Ils ne sa- vent pas ce qu’ils donnent en échange, parce que personne ne leur a dit et qu’il n’est point de mots dans la langue des Blancs pour décrire une richesse dont ils ignorent même le cours (Ashini,page 124).” . In the quest to save his people and give to them a free country and the tradition of their ancestors, Ashini becomes the intermediate between his people and the gods which later leads to him committing suicide which the whites rule as an insane act. Ashini’s death changes nothing for the course of his people just as he shouted in vain to the great north at the Great White Chief who did not even respect his death or receive his message instead saw it as an act of an insane man. Ashini’s journey in finding the truth on how to save his people leads him to him committing suicide because it’s when he crosses to the impossible border and emerges on the light where he now possessed all the knowledge and could know the secret thoughts. Ashini finally finds the truth he has been in search of and on top of that he rejoins with his dead family and everyone he has ever known that has died. The pursuit of this truth which took years of him wandering in the country and ends up in his death for him to get it. This shows his inability to help his few remaining people as there is no way to help them now as he’s dead and his race would soon be erased from existence.
Claude writes a play about his family but they don’t like it as he uses the play to tell the audience facts about his family; a play Claude doesn’t take part in but instead writes lines for each and ever character, his family. rt. Claude wishes to let his family know the truth about his perception of them a gesture his mother doesn’t like. The act of him writing this play can be seen as a coward attempt to tell the world about his family without him opening up about his feelings. In his play he makes known of the night he caught his father about to rape his sister and hit him. Claude believes he is writing this play being a protector to his sister at the same time calling out his fathers but he p
Ashini, Bousille and Claude were all courageous and tried to stand up for what they believe in but it was a battle they could not have won. Bousille et les juste and Ashini novels are “books of blood” as they entail bloodshed . Although Claude wrote the play courageously to portray the issues in his family, he was powered by jealously towards the relationship between his father and his sister as over the years his father grew distant to him and closer to his sister. The deaths of Bousille and Ashani are useless and cannot in any way change the present or future in the world. What’s in common in all these books is the importance to speak out even if it’s too late and even beyond the grave.
From this study its evident that any path from the truth cost the protagonists life in one way or another. The protagonists take the same measure when they can no longer keep living with the lie or the world that is as the result from them holding on the truth. Ashani, and Bousille commit suicide for different reasons but it’s all an effect of not speaking up. Claude wrote a play as a way to represent his ideas, thoughts and desires into the characters at the same time to tell his family the truth. They all lack courage to stand up to their truths and defend it instead of taking it to the grave. The actions they take to a certain their truths are hopeless and can in any way change the world for the better. In conclusion, truth is given weight in all these books as it means a lot in the society and individuality.