J'ACCUSE (1918)

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Synopsis

The brutish husband of a young peasant and the poet who loves her both go to war; she is raped by a German and bears his child. Returning from the front the husband suspects the poet but when the truth has been told both men go back to the trenches to avenge her. The husband is killed. The poet, crazed by the violence of warfare sees visions of dead soldiers rising to look at what they fought for and takes his own life. The poet's accusation of war runs through the whole work as its "leitmotiv".

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