“Pluralized” Narrative: More Is Less? The Paradox of Pluralized Perspectives

  • Mariah Devereux Herbeck


Agnès Varda’s film Sans toit ni loi (Vagabond, 1985, henceforth STL) opens on a scene of the French countryside where a migrant worker has just discovered the unidentified corpse of a young woman. The police arrive and deem that her death was due to “natural causes.” Despite their quick assessment, the cause of her death proves enigmatic: How did she die? Were others involved? Who was she? She seems to be a drifter who has lived at the margins of society and her appearance inspires yet more questions: Where did she come from? Where was she going? Why was she there? Who knew her or crossed her path? STL attempts to piece together the story of the wandering woman, Mona Bergeron, in a pseudodocumentary that combines scenes of interviews with characters who met Mona with flashbacks to scenes from the last few months of her life. A central organizing narrative voice as well as several narrative agents and focalizors propose answers to the questions that remain regarding this young woman.


Migrant Worker Female Character Train Station Direct Address Witness Statement 
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© Mariah Devereux Herbeck 2013

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  • Mariah Devereux Herbeck

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