Moderato Cantabile - Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 1 Summary

The novelette opens on an early spring Friday evening in the sixth-floor apartment of Mademoiselle Giraud, a piano teacher. Giraud is teaching a stubbornly willful young boy to play the piano, a task for which he shows considerable skill but a near complete lack of desire. The lesson is attended by the unnamed child's mother, Anne Desbaresdes, who finds the child's impertinence rather appealing and amusing. Giraud makes demands on the child, which he frequently ignores for prolonged periods of time. For example, Giraud insists that the child define Moderato Cantabile, but the child refuses to comply. In the silence between Giraud's demands and the child's infrequent acquiescence sounds of the sea and town come through the apartment's open window. Anne looks out the window at the sea and sees motorboats passing back and forth. The child refuses to play the piano.

Then...

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This section contains 1,035 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Moderato Cantabile Study Guide
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