The Lover is a novel written by Marguerite Duras that is something like an autobiography. The narrator demonstrated the existence of spatial and temporal distinctions. On the surface, it seems that the author was more concerned with telling the story of a love story between a man in his late twenties and a teenage girl. Duras often used an unconventional method of describing events and ideas in an unchronological order. Events get mixed up, whether they occurred in the past or in the current. This is the primary reason why a reader can struggle to understand the narrative thread at first. The novel comes out as an outstanding piece of work that marks a departure from the traditional simple narration of romantic stories. Besides, the author broke the expected limits of accepted forms of relations with a girl of that age and presented the events in a unique way that is neither obscene nor perfunctory.
The book has a complex structure despite the employment of the simple sentences and the unadorned vocabulary. The shifting of the time period between the present and the past is attributed to the narrator’s change from an old woman to an adolescent girl in pages. The author further utilizes the third and the first person interchangeably making the narrator to a bystander and a participant at the same time. Repetition is another strategy that the author is fond of using, something that is evident through the repetition of phrases and at times, entire scenes. Major events in the novel are reduced into intercuts and fragments with one another. This is brought out in the narration of the first sexual experiences which is told twice and interrupted by other forms of memories. The idea of having Duras as a filmmaker coupled with the lover’s fragmentation results to the novel having a film montage feeling. This is a unique technique which proves the level of author’s creativity was above par.
From time to time, Duras was departing from the main story of the novel through the introduction of unrelated characters. An example of such a situation is when a social host that the narrator got to know in Paris in the Second World War is introduced. As a result of these digressions, the reader is left challenged and cannot effectively account for their presence in the storyline. The strong autobiographical nature of the book is a plausible reason for making the memoirs appearing as meandering and unfocused. The digression also happens to revolve around the charged moments which are emotional in the love story. It has also come out clear that Duras was frequently departing from the novel’s main action by presenting unrelated materials in a bid to conceal the emotions and facts that have to be kept secret. The tactic is effective in keeping the reader in a suspense and glued to the text.
Regardless of whether Duras left out some real life events or not, the novel is full of impressions that are frank and courageous. Besides, the narrator effectively defied the normal conventional guides of romantic love and the traditionally accepted gender roles. This fact is clearly brought out by presenting a fifteen years old teenage girl who is ready for a relationship and has a lover. She is further presented as the seducer instead of being the seduced for the naivety associated with the age bracket, “… he’d love her until death” (Duras 98). Duras did not come out as condemning the prostitution by the narrator or the linking of the sexual pleasure with the money given by her lover. The characters are also presented as breaking loose from the taboos. The teenage girl is a Caucasian while her boyfriend is a Chinese. This is a taboo when considering the culture of the French Indochina. The Lover is also almost twice as old as she is which was considered as a non-conformance to the societal norms.
At the end of the story, it is clear that the happy ending is almost impossible for the two lovers. Despite the love that they have for each other, parting ways is inevitable. A critical analysis of the book makes the reader arrive at the conclusion that the central idea being propagated was not about the moral decadence of the Caucasians. Instead, it was revolving around two couples who were in a desperate love affair. Although casual stated, it is true to argue that there was a common ground between colonizing the country and having an affair with a lower-class person. The author has done a remarkable job is proving that the delivery of the message in a novel does not necessary have to pass through the traditional format. Through the idea of having unlimited space and time, only readers who are keen to details and with a high level of concentration can read the book to the end. Besides, a completion of the reading is the only way to have the various pieces in the narration coming together to make a meaningful conclusion.

Work Cited
Duras, Marguerite. The Lover. 1st ed. London: Harper Perennial, 2008. Print.

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