Journey to the End of the Night - Section 1 Summary & Analysis

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Section 1 Summary

This section begins with the sentence, "Here's how it started."

Thus, Ferdinand Bardamu, the novel's hero and narrator, begins to recount his adventures during World War I and beyond. Bardamu's journey started when he was sitting at a café with a friend, watching the parade of newly conscripted soldiers pass. Moved by the spectacle, Bardamu's companion patriotically claims the French are the finest nation in the world. Bardamu, distrustful of nationalist rhetoric and vanity, strongly disagrees. For him, the war shows, once again, how ordinary working people do all the difficult and dangerous work for the nation, while the upper classes reap the profits.

People like Bardamu and his companion are "down in the ship's hold, heaving and panting," while the rich ones are up on deck, "with beautiful pink and perfumed women on their laps." The patriotic appeals for heroic men...

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This section contains 397 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Journey to the End of the Night Study Guide
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