Nausea Literary Elements

Nausea Literary Elements


Philosophical novel

Setting and Context

Bouville, the early 20th century

Narrator and Point of View

The story is written as a diary, so the author uses the first-person narration.

Tone and Mood

The mood of the story is weary: the narrator describes the events very superficially; in return, he describes accurately his feeling and emotions. But these descriptions are not bright and alive, they’re written according to his nature – gloomy and grey.

Protagonist and Antagonist

The protagonist of the story is Antoine, the narrator, and the antagonist is his Nausea, his inner world.

Major Conflict

The major conflict takes place between the narrator and his essence and Nausea which has settled in his essence. In the end of the story Antoine seems to overcome his enemy.


The culmination of the story takes place when Anne meets with Antoine. Before that Antoine’s Nausea was constantly “increasing”, but after this meeting he seems to change and make some efforts to overcome his enemy, and he manages to do this.


The author shows the reader that it’s possible to overcome yourself even if something goes wrong and you are sinking in your Nausea. A man has a power to keep at least his essence in control.




Sometimes the author alludes to different famous people, their works, such as to “Aeneid” of Virgil etc.


Precisely used in nature descriptions


The author often uses this method, as in the phrases “sweetish sickness”, “nice, gloomy face’ etc.



Metonymy and Synecdoche

The author rarely uses this method, he uses it in the sentence: “I can say is that in neither case was there anything which could ordinarily be called an event.” Event here is used as a metonymy.


Antoine’s Nausea is personified in the story – it seems to be alive, to have some mind to “struggle’ with the man

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