The Years (Ernaux) Setting & Symbolism

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The Contraceptive Pill

The contraceptive pill became legal in France in the 1960s, when the woman in the photographs was already of age. She describes the moment as being one which women everywhere celebrated and yet feared at the same time. The utterly new concept of sexual freedom -- the kind only men could enjoy before the pill -- startled women and made them feel stronger. Ernaux describes the pill as somewhat of a miracle, even attempting to make the reader understand that what is taken for granted today was, many decades ago, celebrated as the product of a long and secret struggle.

The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church is described as playing a heavy role in the upbringing of children and the moderating of society in the provincial region of France where Annie Ernaux grew up. The Church dictated how to dress, act, and think to a...

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This section contains 1,086 words
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