Sexual identity is something that Gérard, Paul, and Elisabeth seem to be trying to figure out for themselves. In the beginning, Gérard is quite infatuated with Paul, but by page 85, he seems to be more so with Elisabeth. I wonder if this has to do with their dominance levels. Before that, he flirts with an entirely different possible fetish. “There had been something of a perversion, almost of necrophily, in the delicious pleasures of that journey with the unconscious youth; not that he envisaged it in such crude psychopathic terms” (32). Paul in the beginning likes Dargelos but then takes to picking up girls on the streets. Elisabeth, I think, is going through teenage girlhood as expected, insecure and seeking constant approval. The incest stuff is something that I won’t even attempt to assess. On page 75, Elisabeth is said to be “using Gérard as a stooge.” Is this sexual?
The rich, parentless, incestuous siblings reminded me of that movie, Cruel Intentions. I looked into it and found that I am wrong. That movie is based off a much older French novel. It helped me though to gain perspective for these characters since I personally, have a hard time relating to them. Here is how I am tracking them as I read:
(Elisabeth & Paul)
A few other things that struck me as dominant throughout this first half of the novel are the death of parents, dominance among peers, charity (both giving and receiving), and inhibitions of various settings: (alone vs. being with people you are quite comfortable with vs. people less familiar to you).