Introduction, notes and excercises in English.
d Jack's life of misery continues. Despite his physical unfitness, he is sent to labor in the shipbuilding yards at Indret, suffers tortures in the stoking room of an ocean steamer, is wrecked, and returns to France in a piteous condition. His love for Cécile, granddaughter of a gentle country doctor, is rapidly making a man of him, when his mother enters again into his life and the poor boy dies miserably in a hospital, killed by despair rather than by disease.
This is perhaps the most powerful of Daudet's novels; it is certainly the most harrowing. The tragedy of the whole is only slightly relieved by the interweaving of the romance of good Bélisaire, the hawker, one of Jack's few friends.
"Le Nabab" (1878) is concerned with politics, the richer bourgeoisie, and the aristocracy. Jansoulet, the "nabob," returns from Tunis with a large fortune and immediately becomes the prey of parasites. He is made the enemy of the banker Hemerlingue through the social rivalry of their wives. He