You Must Read This if You Are a Literary Character

Manon Lescaut - Jean Sgard, Antoine François Prévost, Leonard Tancock

I loved Manon Lescaut because it illustrated something I believe 100%: if you become a good girl in the way it is defined by patriarchal society, you will be killed off.


No, I don’t think Prévost meant for his book to prove my point, but it’s a short novel, and he couldn’t quite hide it. :)


So here is how it went down: a young nobleman (around 17 y.o.) falls for a very pretty sixteen-year-old girl who is in the process of being shipped to a convent by her family. The two teenagers elope together to Paris, where they live in sin, commit crimes (swindling people out of their money and cheating at card games), and get punished for that with jail time and banishment from France. When they arrive in America, they decide to marry and leave their sinful ways behind them, and what do you know, the girl is promptly killed off, because well, her past wasn’t exactly innocent and virginal, so she can’t be readmitted into polite society. The boy, on the other hand, gets back into the fold of French nobility just fine.