Boekverslag: Fair Stood the Wind for France
Title of work
The title of the book is: ?Fair stood the wind for France?.
Franklin crashed with his airplane in France. Franklin was lucky that so many French people wanted to help him, for example the doctor and the family. Thanks to them he survived. That is why the title is: ?Fair stood the wind for France?.
H.E. Bates was born in 1905 at Rushton in Northamptonshire and was educated at Kettering Grammar School. He worked as a journalist and clerk on a local newspaper. During the Second World War, he was a Squadron Leader in the R.A.F. Some books were written under the pseudonym of ?Flying Officer X?.
He wrote many books, for example ?The Greatest People in the World? (1942), ?How Sleep the Brave? (1943) and ?The Face of England? (1953). H.E. Bates was awarded the C.B.E. in 1973 and died in January 1974. He was married in 1931 and had four children.
The book is an adventurous novel about the Second World War, with also some tragedy in it. Like the part where O?Connor actually gives his life to safe Francoise and Franklin, because these two love eachother so much.
? Time: The story played in the Second World War.
? Place: The story mainly played in the middle of France.
Point of view
The angle from which the novelist tells his story is his own. Iit looks like he is telling the story to the reader, without feelings. He is always being objective.
There are two main?characters. The first main?character was Franklin. He was from England and was a pilot in the Second World War. He crashed with four other men in the middle of France. They survived the crash, but Franklin was badly injured to his arm. His arm became worse and a doctor took it off. It was very dangerous for them in France, because they were in the occupied part of the country. They had to look out for the Germans.
Franklin fell in love with a girl from France, Francoise. He wanted to marry her and return to England, but it was very difficult. This is a rather round character, because all of his feelings are described and he has got a very strong and clear personality
The second main?character was Francoise. She met Franklin after the crash with the airplane. Franklin and his men could stay with her family. She took care of him when he was operated to his arm. She also fell in love with him and she wanted to go with him to England.
She was also a very round character, but she was acting as if everything that happened was due to the faith she and other people had. Therefore she acts as if everything is all right and as if she knows all the feelings that Franklin has.
Franklin and his four sergeants (O?Connor, Sandy, Taylor and Goldwin) were flying with an airplane above France. They were from England and had to fight against the Germans, who had control over a part of France. There was a problem with the airplane and they crashed in the middle of France, the occupied part. Everyone survived the crash, but Franklin was badly injured to his arm. They walked through the forest for a long time. After a few days they saw a farm. A girl, Francoise, saw them and took them into the farm. On the farm also lived the father of Francoise, an old woman and Pierre. They all wanted to help them. Franklin and the sergeants could stay in the mill of the farm to hide for the Germans. They could only get out of the mill at night.
Franklin had to go to a doctor with his arm. He went with Francoise into town and visited a doctor. The doctor couldn?t help him. Franklin had to go to hospital. He couldn?t go, because it was too dangerous. He would be killed if the Germans saw him. He had a lot of pain.
The father of Francoise arranged papers for two persons. With this papers they could go to England without being caught. Taylor and Goldwin were allowed to go, because they were the youngest. Franklin and Francoise fell in love. Franklin still had a lot of pain in his arm.
The next week the father also arranged papers for O?Connor and Sandy. They didn?t want to leave Franklin. Franklin wanted them to go, so they left him. The doctor came to the farm and decided to take the arm off. He couldn?t go to the hospital, so he did it on the farm. The brother of the doctor helped him. After the operation, Franklin was very sad because of his arm and had a lot of pain. Francoise took care of him.
The situation became very dangerous. The Germans executed the doctor and some other people. Franklin had to stay in the mill again. His arm healed very well.
After a few weeks the father of Francoise also arranged papers for him. The father was so sad, that he committed suicide with the revolver of Franklin.
Francoise wanted to go with Franklin to England. They wanted to marry as soon as possible. First, they had to go the unoccupied part of France. They went by boat. Francoise rowed for three days when they met a man who told them they could better go by bike. It was much safer. They changed the boat for two bikes and after almost two weeks they arrived in Marseilles. In Marseilles, Franklin stayed in a hotel and Francoise could stay with the sister of Pierre.
When Franklin went into town, a gendarme asked him for his papers. Franklin was afraid and punched the gendarme to the ground. He ran away for the gendarmes. The gendarmes ran after another man, who also had a fight with a gendarme.
Franklin and this man escaped together. Franklin was astonished. The other man was O?Connor! O?Connor told Franklin he didn?t manage to escape to England. O?Connor, Franklin and Fran?oise decided to go to Spain by train. At the station the gendarmes arrested Francoise. O?Connor killed the gendarmes. The gendarmes also shoot him. He died and Francoise and Franklin could escape. They survived it thanks to O?Connor.
Structure and technique
There are no flashbacks in the story, but Franklin does think about England and his girlfriend who he doesn?t actually love. The story follows chronological the time as it would pass in the real world. This time makes you really aware of the importancy to hide for these people. The emotions become very clear because of this kind of time passings.
There is sort of an open ending, because you dont know exactly what is going to happen when Francoise and Franklin reach the unoccupied zone and you don?t know if they really reach England or how the relatives of Franklin are going to react. The only fact is that they do reach the unoccupied area, but I think that?s enough, because your imagination can do the rest.
The title has allready been explained.
Style and tone
The tone that the story is told with is very serious and also melancholique, because they only can wait for things to happen and they?ve accepted that.
The theme of the book was running away from war. Franklin and the other four men had to run away from the Germans. Francoise and her family helped them.
Another part of the theme is the sub?title of the book: ?Can their love survive in the dangers of Occupied France??. Franklin and Francoise fell in love and they were afraid to lose eachother.
I liked almost all the characters, except of the father of Francoise. The father really annoyed me, because he was always very quiet and just stood somewhere listening to the conversating people. The other characters were linked together by loyalty and respect for eachother. I felt a strong bond between the soldiers, because they never hid their feelings for eachother and always tried to help eachother. For instance there was the time when, I thought O?Connor swam across a river twice, because he wanted to swim Franklin over and didn?t want to leave him behind with his injured arm.
There were some practical jokes in the book, mainly between Franklin and his men, that were very funny, but I didn?t find the book humorous of itself. There were a lot of exciting times in the book, for instance the crash itself is a very good begin of the story. Also the time when Franklin went to see a doctor in town was pretty exciting. I liked these exciting parts as well as the frightened ones. The last part of the book describes the running away and the shooting at the gendarmes of O?Connor. This part where Franklin and Francoise almost lost eachother gave me a very worried feeling, because I thought they had gone through all this trouble for nothing. Therefore I felt it was very brave and courageous of O?Connor to do this for his friend. He didn?t do this for Francoise because he hated French people, but he gave his life for his friend. The bondage I felt before was even stronger now. This was also the best part of the book according to me. I find it very impressing that this writer really wrote the whole book towards the end of it, what was the best part of it. I learned that even if you hate someone you can do something for them not directly, but just by helping a friend of this person. I find the song of Billy Joel very fitting for this whole book ?Paris Island?.
We met as solemates on Paris Island
We met as inmates from an asylem
and we were strong ....etc.
In this song there is also the strong bondage between the soldiers and they remember eachother for always, as the song says. This is what was the most important in this book: remembering solemates and keep the bondage alive.
This book is definitively awarded with an A!!!
- Fair Stood the Wind for France
- Herbert Ernest Bates
- Meer boeken van:H. E. Bates