The Fall - Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 1 Summary

The Fall opens with the narrator acting as interpreter for an unnamed companion. Both men are French, more specifically Parisian, ex-patriots passing time in a Dutch bar peculiarly labeled "Mexico City." The bartender, called a "worthy ape" by the narrator, speaks only Dutch, obliging the novel's anonymous second person to accept the help of the narrator, Jean-Baptiste Clamence. The two men settle in for a conversation over their glasses of gin, though it rapidly becomes apparent that Clamence will permit little or no interjection from his compatriot.

The narrator first begins by expounding on the character of the bartender, speaking of him as effectively deaf - as a monolinguist in the polyglottal world of his bar - and nearly mute. He is silent and animalistic, with a touchy distrust of everyone and everything around him.

Paris is the next subject undertaken by Clamence and from that point...

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This section contains 1,404 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Fall Study Guide
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