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Amoral: neither moral nor immoral.


Why did I choose the epigraph ‘Love is worth whatever it costs’ by Françoise Sagan? (Taken from her novel ‘Bonjour Tristesse’).

Amoral: (definition) not involving questions of right or wrong; without moral quality; neither moral nor immoral.

When Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan was published in 1954 it caused a sensation and a scandal. First and foremost because it was written by an eighteen year old girl writing about a seventeen year old girl’s first (and for those times) unconventional experience of love and sex.

Almost sixty-five years later the novel is no longer regarded as scandalous. Times have changed and so have society’s mores. The under lying themes in Sagan’s novel still remain current. Sagan challenged the idea that teenagers should be ignored because they were inexperienced in the ways of the world and incapable of making mature decisions. Ten years later those notions were being thrown out and the social dynamics of Western society began to change forever. Sixties teenagers were at the forefront of the changes, no longer willing to accept the accepted mores and values of the older generation. Sagan set the context for those changes dealing with rite of passage, amorality in conflict with morality, the nature of love, relationships and jealousy as seen through her heroines eyes.

‘Jimmy Mack 1967 – Strong Love (Side A)’ reflects these changing times. James MacKinnon and the two girls in his life are all the same age as Sagan’s Cecille. They exemplify the moral and the amoral qualities of youth in the Sixties. Their refusal to conform to the expectations of their parent’s generation is matched by their savviness in dealing with the world at large. This novel is about an amoral liaison in the making unfolding at the end that even in the present will challenge many peoples thinking about relationships, friendship and love. And so the question to be asked is, is ‘love is worth whatever it costs’?


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