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elsa triolet, les amants d'avignon

French literature, essays, summary

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About this novel

French literature, resources, essays,summary

Resources have been written with the needs of busy teachers in mind. They are available:

  • to download (online version)
  • to receive on CD with access to the online version also
  • to receive as a VLE version (moodle, firefox etc) with access to the online version also

Elsa Triolet, hard line communist and wife of Louis Aragon the poet published this short novel as part of a larger collection which won the Prix Goncourt in 1945.   

The novel was published by the clandestine Éditions de minuit in 1943 at a similar time to the more well-known Le silence de la mer by Vercors.  Unlike the latter this riveting story traces the life of one of the brave women who carried out the day to day work of the resistance, finding places to hide those who needed hiding, transporting blank ID and ration cards and generally acting as a go-between for the leaders.   Women and especially attractive ones such as Juliette Noel were very much used in order to distract the enemy.   The narrator makes much of Juliette's attractions and her irresistibility to men, indeed this becomes the central theme-what is this impossible occupation situation that gets in the way of such a beautiful person enjoying a romantic attachment.   Love is something that existed before the war for which there is no place now.   

The author has a sharp ear for the concerns of the time which she evokes in conversations to which Juliette is witnesses in the train;  the sense of immersion in the period is very strong as specific events, song and film titles are referred to.   She avoids stereotypes with the German agents being like the French men around around her enraptured by her charms.   

For anyone studying the occupation this is a must read which gives a really good feel for what it was like to live through;   it would be useful to study alongside something like La rafle which deals exclusively with the persecution of the Jews.


French literature, summary, essays

French literature, resources, essays,summary

  • Full page by page vocabulary list (can be used on phone, tablet)
  • Detailed summary of text with verbs gapped (infinitives given)
  • Comprehensive questions on each chapter/scene
  • PowerPoint with visuals and sentence starters (not all texts)
  • Character study guide with wide range of adjectives

French literature, resources, essays,summary

  • Multi-tense practice tool
  • A-factor builds in practice of more complex structures
  • Direct-indirect speech exercise encourages reported speech
  • Matching quotations to themes to prepare for paragraphing
  • Essay planning guide including template
  • Essay plan and sample essay

French literature, essays, summary

Mark schemes are provided for:

  • the gapped summary
  • character guide
  • multi-tense exercise
  • A-factor
  • direct-indirect speech exercise
  • themes exercise

Answers are NOT given for the questions which are intended to elicit an individual response.

French literature, essays, summary

French literature, essays, summary

French literature, essays, summary

French literature, summary, essays