Short summary - Indiana - George Sand - Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin

French literature summaries - 2021

Short summary - Indiana
George Sand - Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin

The novel takes place in the era of the Restoration, a time when both the events of the revolution and the reign of Napoleon are still remembered by everyone. In the living room of the Château de la Brie near Paris, three are sitting: the owner of the house, Colonel Delmare, once a gallant soldier, and now "heavy and bald", his nineteen-year-old wife, a charming fragile Creole Indiana, and her distant relative Sir Ralph Brown, "a man in full bloom of youth and strength ”.
The servant reports that someone has climbed into the garden, and the colonel, grabbing a gun, runs away. Knowing her husband's harsh disposition, Indiana is afraid that he would kill someone in the heat of the moment.
The Colonel returns. Behind him, the servants carry an insensitive youth "with delicate noble features." Blood gushes from the wound on his arm. Justifying himself, the colonel claims that he only shot with salt. Creole Noon, Indiana's foster sister and maid, and her mistress are busy around the wounded man. The gardener reports that this "very handsome man" is Monsieur de Ramière, their new neighbor. Jealousy awakens in the colonel.
Having regained consciousness, de Ramière explains his misconduct with the desire to enter the colonel's factory located next to his house and find out the secret of its prosperity, because his brother in the south of France has the same enterprise, but it brings him only losses. Delmare had once already refused to talk about this with Ramier, so he, wanting to help his brother, dared to violate the boundaries of the colonel's possessions. Monsieur Delmare is satisfied with his explanation.
The truth is that "brilliant and witty", "endowed with various talents" Raymond de Ramière is in love with Noun, and the ardent Creole loves him in return. They had an appointment that evening in the Delmares garden.
The young man's feelings are so strong that he even thinks about going to the misalliance and legitimizing their relationship. However, his passion gradually fades away, he begins to feel weary about Nun and hurries to return to Paris. The inconsolable Creole writes him sincere, but clumsy letters, causing only laughter from her lover.
The secular lion de Ramière meets Indiana in one of the Parisian salons. Young people remember their first meeting at De la Brie Castle. Indiana is captivated by Raymond's charm, love awakens in her soul. Married early to Monsieur Delmare, "stupid, tactless and ill-mannered," the young Creole loves for the first time, for she has extremely friendly feelings for her faithful friend Sir Ralph. Raymond is also captivated by the timid beauty.
The lovers explain themselves. Indiana's love is pure and self-sacrificing, and Raymond has a fair amount of vanity and selfishness in his feelings. The situation of the young man is complicated by the presence of Nun, who, seeing him at Madame Delmare, decides that he came to the house for her sake.
Thinking that Raymond still loves her, Nun invites him to the Delmare castle in the absence of the owners. Afraid that Indiana would become aware of his affair with her maid, Raymond agrees to come to Nun, hoping that this will be their last meeting. During a stormy night of love in Indiana's bedroom, the Creole confesses to her lover that she is expecting a baby. Raymond is terrified, he wants to send Nun away from Paris, but she does not agree.
Madame Delmare returns unexpectedly. Nun, unaware of Ramier's new hobby, is going to confess everything to the hostess. Raymond forbids her to do this. Finding the young man in his bedroom, Indiana decides that he got here for her, and accuses Nun of complicity in the young man's dishonorable plans. However, the servant's behavior reveals the true reason for Raymond's appearance in the castle. His embarrassment confirms Indiana's suspicions, her feelings are offended, and she chases him away. De Ramière wants to explain himself to Indiana, but the arrival of Sir Ralph forces him to hastily leave the castle. Nun realizes that she has nothing to hope for, and rushes into the river. Indiana still loves Raymond, but Nun's death, for which she rightly blames the young man, fills her with disgust for him. She refuses to see him. In an effort to re-win the favor of Madame Delmare, Raymond resorts to the help of his mother. As neighbors, they together pay a visit to the colonel. As the mistress of the house, Indiana is forced to go out to the guests.
Having shown interest in the work of the factory and respectfully speaking about the deposed Bonaparte, Ramière wins the sympathy of Monsieur Delmare and the right to easily visit his house; he finds his way back to Indiana's heart and receives her forgiveness. A French woman sophisticated in secular tricks would not have succumbed so easily to his seductions, but an inexperienced Creole believes him. Indiana expects that Raymond will love her "completely, irrevocably, unlimitedly," ready for any sacrifices for her. Captured by the "irresistible charm" of the young woman, de Ramière promises everything that is demanded of him.
Raymond wants proof of Indiana's love. But all his attempts to spend the night with his beloved are unsuccessful due to the vigilance of Sir Ralph, who, as a relative and friend of the house, constantly takes care of Indiana. Sensing him as a rival, Raymond tries to humiliate him in the eyes of Indiana. Instead of answering, she tells him the story of Sir Ralph Brown.
Ralph and Indiana spent their childhood and adolescence on the distant island of Bourbon in the Caribbean. An unloved child in the family, Ralph became attached to little Indiana, raised and protected her. Then he left for Europe, where he got married at the insistence of his relatives. But in marriage, he did not find happiness, and when his wife, and even earlier, his son died, he returned to Indiana. By this time, she had already been married to Colonel Delmare. Sir Ralph bluntly asked Indiana's husband for permission to live next to them and come to them as a relative. When the colonel's affairs in the colonies went badly and he and his wife went to Europe, Sir Ralph followed them. He has no relatives or friends, Indiana and her husband are his whole society, all his affections. According to Madame Delmare, he is content with his present life beside her; he does not interfere in her relationship with her husband, and happiness and joy for him lie in peace and "the comforts of life."
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Still, Raymond manages to plant a grain of mistrust in his childhood friend in Indiana's soul. Sir Ralph, imperturbable in appearance, suffers deeply from Indiana's chill towards him, but even more jealously protects her from the ardent de Ramière.
Raymond is bored with a reclusive life and sublime love with no hope of rapprochement. He leaves for Paris. Indiana is desperate; to see her lover again, she is ready to confess her love to her husband. But the colonel suddenly goes bankrupt and is forced to go to Paris. Then, having settled things and selling the castle, he is going to leave for the Isle of Bourbon, where he has a house.
Usually submissive Indiana flatly refuses to go with her husband. Not having obtained her consent, the enraged colonel locks her in a room. Indiana gets out through the window and runs to her lover. She spends the whole night in his bedroom, and when Raymond returns in the morning, she declares to him that she is ready to stay with him forever. "The time has come, and I want to receive a reward for my trust: tell me, do you accept my sacrifice?" She asks Ramiera.
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Frightened by such determination and wanting to quickly get rid of his beloved lover, Raymond, under the pretext of caring for her reputation, dissuades her from such a step. However, Indiana had foreseen everything - the night she spent in the young man's house had already compromised her in the eyes of the world and her husband. Raymond is furious: he is trapped in his own vows. Having lost power over himself, he tries to take possession of Indiana. Realizing that Ramier no longer loves her, she breaks free and leaves.
Desperate, Indiana wanders sadly along the river bank: she wants to follow Nun's example. Looking for her since early morning, Sir Ralph saves her from the fatal step and escorts her home. Instead of explaining, Indiana coldly declares to an outraged Delmar that she is ready to sail with him to the colony. Faithful Sir Ralph rides with the Dalmars.
Sir Ralph is doing his best to brighten up Indiana's life on Bourbon Island with his cares. Suddenly, a young woman receives a letter from Raymond: he writes that he is unhappy without her. The smoldering fire of former love flares up in Indiana's soul with renewed vigor.
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Raymond's letter falls into the hands of Delmar. A jealous husband beats up Indiana. Upon learning of the colonel's monstrous cruelty, an outraged Ralph wants to kill him, but Delmare suffers an apoplectic stroke. Forgetting hate, Indiana takes care of her sick husband. But one night she, taking her meager savings, sailed to France, to Raymond.
Political winds change, and Ramier is on the verge of ruin. In order to improve matters, he profitably marries the adopted daughter of a wealthy bourgeois who bought the Delmarov estate.
Arriving in Bordeaux, Indiana suffers from brain inflammation and, without documents, ends up in a hospital for the poor. A month later, without money and basic necessities, she finds herself on the street. Fortunately, the ship on which she arrived has not yet sailed back, and the honest captain returns her belongings and money remaining on board to her.
After reaching Paris, she learns that Raymond bought the castle of De la Brie, which belonged to her husband, and decides that he did it in the hope of her return. However, upon arriving at the castle, she meets not only Raymond, but also his wife ...
Not remembering herself from grief, Indiana returns to Paris and stays in a cheap hotel. Then Sir Ralph finds her. Upon discovering the disappearance of Indiana and knowing about Raymond's letter, he realized that she had fled to Europe to her beloved. Sir Ralph informs Indiana that her husband died without regaining consciousness, she is free and can marry her chosen one. "Monsieur de Ramière got married!" Indiana yells back.
Indiana despises Ramier, she is desperate and wants to die. Sir Ralph invites her to leave this life together, having done it on their home island, in the gorge where they played as children. Indiana agrees and they cross the ocean again. On the way, Indiana begins to appreciate Ralph's courageous and noble character, and the last memories of her blind love for Raymond are extinguished in her soul.
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On the island of Bourbon, Ralph and Indiana, preparing to part with their lives, climb a picturesque mountain. Here Ralph, in his last impulse, confesses that he has always loved Indiana. This is the first time a young woman sees him so passionate and sublime. She realizes that she should have loved him, not Raymond. "Be my spouse in heaven and on earth!" Indiana exclaims, kissing Ralph. He takes her in his arms and goes to the top.
A year later, wandering in the mountains of the island of Bourbon, a young traveler unexpectedly stumbles upon a hut; Sir Ralph and Indiana live in it. Happiness was given to them at the cost of many efforts, but now their days are "equally calm and beautiful." Their life flows without grief and without regrets, and they enjoy unknown happiness, which they owe only to themselves.