Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis



First Advisor

Jeff Persels


The time period of May 1968 in France has become an important cultural moment in French history and is often present in current political debates. I propose that the critiques of French society expressed during the events of May and June 1968 were present before that time and can be seen in literature and creative expression of the time period, as in the film Week-end, by Jean-Luc Godard, and the play Yes, peut-être, by Marguerite Duras. Godard and Duras express a deep discontent with the society in which they live and their creations imagine the consequences of Western ideals taken to their limits. The forgetting and re-writing of the history of the events of May 1968 has led to a modern failure to understand these events. The elements of forgetting history and recreating it are present in the two works studied, creating hybrid new versions of familiar Western stories. I chose these two works because of the social and political engagement of the respective authors and the critiques of French society that were far-reaching and relevant to what happened several months later. I contend that remembering history is an important task, and one which sometimes requires revisionist viewpoints. History must be viewed holistically and established based on a variety of perspectives, incorporating a variety of viewpoints.