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Written by Dio Sm
This theme is highlighted in the image of Vianne Rocke. She shows the reader, how the true kindness should look like. The town greets her with hostility, she is not a desirable guest there. But no matter how they treat her, the woman is always kind to them. She smiles to everybody, she is eager to help, to support, to give shelter. And she doesn’t hope to be thanked for it. And her unselfishness rewards her with good friends and good treatment at the end of the story.
This theme is highlighted in the image of the cure, Francis Reynaud. At first the reader sees in him a pious man, a cure who does his job diligently. But then it seems that Reynaud is more irritated by his obedience, than loves them: he hates their imperfection, their behavior, weakness sometimes. Instead of being an example of mildness and lenience, he shows the cruelty towards Vianne and Gypsies. People don’t respect Reynaud, but just are afraid of him. The religion is like an obligation for them, not a call of their hearts. They don’t feel true faith, they do what they want in their daily life, but having come to the church they wear a mask of piety for the cure, for showing him that they are proper citizens. Both they and he just pretend to be faithful Christians, but it seems that in most cases it’s not more than pretending.
This theme is vividly opened in Vianne and her daughter’s journey, and before that in Vianne’s mother and Vianne’s travelings. They go all around the world, looking for something, they don’t know exactly of. First the reader may guess that they are looking for happiness, for place which they would name “home”. But then the reader starts to understand the true reasons of these wanderings: first Vianne and her mother, and then Vianne and her daughter are running from some Black Man, who embodies the evil for them. Then Vianne confesses that this image doesn’t worry her anymore. But at the end she still decides to go away from the town. So, the reader comes back to the first impression: they don’t know the reasons of their escape from every place. Probably, they are “the strangers” in their hearts, like Vianne often names her daughter.
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