Clamence from The Fall by Albert Camus
The Fall, a 1957 novel written by Nobel Prize winner Albert Camus, is a story
based on confession. The main character, Jean-Baptiste Clamence, portrays himself to be
the epitome of good citizenship and acceptable behavior and now he has come to face the
reality that his existence has been deeply seated in hypocrisy. Clamence also openly enjoys the wealth of cheap dreams that the prostitutes and bars his Amsterdam home has to offer. In a bar called Mexico City, Clamence begins to recall his life as a respected lawyer, supposedly immune to judgment. There are different theories on whether Clamence recalls his life to himself or to another person, but it is in fact a random acquaintance from the bar that Clamence shares stories of his life’s triumphs and failures.
While Clamence is in the bar, he asks another person who is trying to order a drink
if he "may offer his services without running the risk of intruding" because unless the man authorizes him to perform his services, the bartender will not guess that he wants gin. The service Clamence is referring to is his ability to speak Dutch, the only language the bartender speaks and understands. What suggests that Clamence is speaking to another person in the bar is the fact that if someone wants to do something, they do not need to be given permission by himself. If a person feels they are not allowed to do something, it is because one of two reasons. One, the person might feel the action is inappropriate and that would directly deal with that persons set of morals and discipline. Secondly, the person might not be allowed to perform the task by the person it would deal with and that would have to do with power of authority. Also, if Clamence was alone and tried to order the gin for himself, there is no reason for him needing help from some other person to order the drink if he is capable of communicating with the bartender.
The second instance suggesting an acquaintance again happens in a bar when
Clamence is invited to sit with the man he ordered the gin for. Clamence responds by
saying "Thank you, I'd accept if I were not sure of being a nuisance. You are too kind.
Then I shall bring my glass over beside yours." Clamence can not be alone and talking to
himself. There is already a drink set down on the table and Clamence said he is going to
set his drink next to it. Now if both the drinks were Clamence's, then the drinks would
both be "his" and that would leave no other drinks on the table. Since he said "yours," that means that some other person...