The Fall Themes

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Power

"Power," says Jean-Baptiste Clamence, "settles everything" (Chapter 3, p.45). This single statement serves as a defense for everything from slavery to the demise of the dialogue as a manner of communication to the willing relinquishment of personal freedoms.

Clamence opens his discussion on power with the provocative notion that slavery is absolutely necessary to a functioning society. All of this aside, however, he insists that slavery not be boasted of. To remain in place, society must maintain a certain quiet understanding and decorum about the institution. Slaves are slaves because that is their nature - the only way in which they can be happy. The only response to this fact of life is to treat slaves according to their station and to expect reciprocal treatment from them.

Even dialogue has been reduced to a dynamic of master-and-slave. Clamence is the perfect example of this. He barely allows his companion...

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This section contains 2,350 words
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Buy The Fall Study Guide
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