Education System as a Social Provocation in the Novel “Behind The Glass” by Robert Merle

Kateryna Kalynych


This article is dedicated to the crisis situation in the French system of higher education of the 1960-ies. In particular, main grounds for students’ protests in 1968 have been considered: opposition to political regimes, strikes against the war in Vietnam, demonstrations against improper conditions for study and censor. The attention is focused on the background of the May Revolution in France. The novel by R. Merle “Behind the Glass” (1970) within the curriculum of the higher educational institution has been studied. It has been determined that the author distinguishes a number of typical characters of the students’ and teachers’ media. The cause and effect course of social events within the archaic teaching tradition in the system of higher education in France in XX century has been defined. It has been traced that the necessity of еру emergency renovation of curricula, lectures and tutorials caused rebellious mood among the students. The investigation shows that financial instability, conservative scientific and technical opportunities of education, expressive conflicts between the assistants and professors of the University of Nantes, unfavorable conditions for the students’ education and existence, lack of creative cooperation with the teachers, unwillingness to come to an understanding with the students in Paris resulted in the rebellious mood among the students. Under the analysis results it has been found that еру students’ rebellions in 1968 not only changed social and economic sector of the French society, but also significantly renewed higher education system of teaching.


Robert Merle; “Behind the Glass”; teacher; student; student protests of 1968; crisis; higher education


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