Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Coup de Lune seminar 1

Coup de Lune: seminar 1

1. Close reading. Look at the following passages:

Ø Pp. 5 – 7 (beginning to ‘Pas besoin d’employé, moi’)

Ø Pp. 51 – 52 (‘Etait-on dans un cimetière ?’ to section break)


Consult your Study Skills handbook, pp. 15 – 17 for suggestions of how to structure your analysis. Think about the following:

Ø The function of the passage within the work as a whole.

Ø Narrative strategies (use of narrator; use of direct speech)

Ø Vocabulary: can you identify particular lexical fields?

Ø Structure of passage

Ø Use of language: logical? Contradictory?


2. Wider discussion (you should read up to p. 92; further if possible)


What do you understand by the terms ‘colonial’ and ‘colonialism’? How relevant are they for the study of this text?


Explore the role of health, madness, and disease in the text. Contrast the use of these motifs with their use in Candide.


Can Joseph Timar be described as the hero of this text? Why (not)?


Can you find any similarities between Candide and Timar? Think about how the idea of the journey can be linked with the development of character.


What different social groups are represented in the text?



3. Further food for thought


André Gide famously said in Voyage au Congo: ‘Moins le blanc est intelligent, plus le noir lui paraît bête’. Find examples in the text which (in)validate this statement.


Does the text raise moral and ethical questions? Give examples.