L'unite des images dans Capitale de la Douleur de Paul Eluard
Martin, Karen Elaine
Raaphorst, Madeleine R.
Master of Arts
The object of this study is to show the unity of Paul Eluard's Capitale de la Douleur (1926) as it is revealed through the imagery in the poetic text. Preliminary observations in the first chapter include a concise biography of Eluard, Eluard's definition of the image and a brief analysis of the vital relationship between word and image in Eluard poems. Principal figures of style in Capitale de la Douleur are discussed as well as specific sonorous effects created through assonance and alliteration. The first chapter closes with a résumé of critical works about Eluard's poetry and an explanation of the method used in this study of Capitale de la Douleur. Chapter Two constitutes the "body” of the thesis, exploring Capitale de la Douleur across the themes and sources of its images in an effort to give objective proof of its unity. All the images are classified and studied according to the following categories: Nature, Common Objects, Weapons, Games, Supernatural Beings, Childhood, Introspective Processes, Personification, Abstract Qualities and the Eyes. The third chapter is a discussion of Eluard's stylistic techniques in Capitale de la Douleur such as exploitation of a single image or of several images (for example, the sun, the bird, the woman and the eyes), overlapping, superimposed and reciprocal images, important figures of style (similes and metaphors) and innovative use of sounds. This study concludes that thematic continuity gives Capitale de la Douleur a strong internal coherence while use of the same source of images in conjunction with varied themes contributes to the unity of the work, linking several themes by means of a stylistic technique.