Important People in The Years (Ernaux)

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Mother

The woman described through a series of photographs in this book often recalls her mother's words and mannerisms throughout her life. Her mother is an important figure but gains much of her significance retroactively, as the girl becomes a young woman and then mother herself and realizes how much her own mother brought her comfort and help. She is described as being warm and competent, if a little bit rough due to her poor upbringing and circumstances in life. She later suffers from Alzheimer's, a fact which Ernaux mentions in the book only briefly and does not dwell on. The mother becomes crystallized as a figure of the past, a past which one can never return to.

Father

The woman in the photographs thinks often of her father, whose death is mentioned as being devastating. His mannerisms are discussed at length in the beginning of the book...

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This section contains 1,281 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Years (Ernaux) Study Guide
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