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Reasons to study the work
For serious students of literature Thérèse Desqueyroux represents a great opportunity to study a wide range of narrative techniques in the context of a thoroughly fascinating novel, not least the male 3rd person narrator telling the story through the female protagonist's view point.
The interest of the work
This rich, brooding novel written from the point of view of Thérèse the eponymous "heroine" is firmly set in the south west of France in the forests of the Landes. Mauriac's characters play out the feminine condition of the time, before nascent feminism has percolated through to the provinces; at the start of the novel Thérèse has managed to escape conviction for the poisoning of her husband Bernard. The rest of the novel concentrates on how this point was arrived at in flashback.