Birdsong

by

Sebastian Faulks

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Monsieur Bérard Character Analysis

René Azaire’s friend and husband to Madame Bérard. Bérard is a self-important man who, like René, exemplifies the confines of the patriarchy. He either talks over or ignores all the women in his life and is convinced that he is of “superior breeding.” Bérard is also a coward, and when the Germans occupy Amiens, he quickly offers up his home to the commandant. When the soldiers pull out of the city after only a few days, Bérard is left a disgrace.

Monsieur Bérard Quotes in Birdsong

The Birdsong quotes below are all either spoken by Monsieur Bérard or refer to Monsieur Bérard. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
History and the Future Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Birdsong published in 1993.
Part One: France 1910 Quotes

“This morning I was out doing some errands in the town. There was a window open in a house near the cathedral and someone was playing the piano.”

Madame Azaire’s voice was cool and low […].

Monsieur and Madame Bérard looked startled. It was evidently not the kind of thing they had expected. Azaire spoke with the soothing voice of one use to such fancies. “And what was the tune, my dear?”

“I don’t know. I had never heard it before. It was just a tune like Beethoven or Chopin.”

“I doubt it was Beethoven if you failed to recognize it, Madame,” said Bérard

gallantly. “It was one of those folksongs, I’ll bet you anything.”

Related Characters: Isabelle Azaire (speaker), René Azaire (speaker), Monsieur Bérard (speaker), Stephen Wraysford, Madame Bérard
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:

“Madame,” said Azaire, “I assure you that Isabelle has no fever. She is a woman of a nervous temperament. She suffers from headaches and various minor maladies. It signifies nothing. Believe me, I know her very well and I have learned how to live with her little ways.” He gave a glace of complicity toward Bérard who chuckled. “You yourself are fortunate in having a robust constitution.”

Related Characters: René Azaire (speaker), Isabelle Azaire, Monsieur Bérard, Madame Bérard
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:

She was the only one who did not respond to Bérard’s promptings. She barely contributed when he invited her to do so, but would speak, unbidden, on a subject of her own choice. This appeared to leave Bérard no choice but to cut her off. He would apologize with a small bow of his head, though not for some minutes, and not until he had taken the conversation safely down the path he wanted. Madame Azaire would shrug lightly or smile at his belated apology as though to suggest that what she had been about to say was unimportant.

Related Characters: Isabelle Azaire, Monsieur Bérard
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Birdsong LitChart as a printable PDF.
Birdsong PDF

Monsieur Bérard Character Timeline in Birdsong

The timeline below shows where the character Monsieur Bérard appears in Birdsong. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part One: France 1910
Love and Hate Theme Icon
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
Nature, War, and Morality Theme Icon
...Azaire avoids eye contact with him. Just as dinner ends, the doorbell rings and Monsieur Bérard and his wife, Madame Bérard, are shown into the room by the maid. (full context)
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
The friends begin to talk over drinks, and Bérard tells René that the dyers employed by other factories have called a strike to begin... (full context)
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
Bérard and René are subtly critical of England. They are surprised when Stephen says that they... (full context)
Nature, War, and Morality Theme Icon
...went off to fight the Prussians. “What a day that must have been!” declares René. Bérard disagrees, claiming that when “art is put to practical ends it loses its essential purity.”... (full context)
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
...of cards, and Madame Azaire excuses herself, claiming that she has a “slight headache.” Madame Bérard is appropriately concerned, but René reassures her. “It’s just her nerves. Think nothing of it.”... (full context)
Nature, War, and Morality Theme Icon
...their bluff.” He doesn’t believe that the strike will last long once they become hungry. Bérard warns René that as a town councilor, that may not be the smartest course of... (full context)
History and the Future Theme Icon
Nature, War, and Morality Theme Icon
Bérard and his wife soon leave, and it begins to rain. Stephen excuses himself to his... (full context)
Love and Hate Theme Icon
...René Azaire and his children are all noted in the pages. Stephen has even mentioned Bérard and his wife, but he is surprised to discover that he has not mentioned Madame... (full context)
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
Bérard and his wife stop by again after dinner, as they do on most evenings, and... (full context)
Love and Hate Theme Icon
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
...morning, Stephen rises early. The Azaires are planning a day on the water gardens with Bérard and his wife, and they have invited him to join. Lisette appears especially excited by... (full context)
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
Bérard captains the boat, talking excessively about the area and who lives where, referring to the... (full context)
Love and Hate Theme Icon
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
On shore, no one is particularly hungry, and as René smokes and Bérard naps, Stephen carves a small figure out of wood. Lisette asks him what he is... (full context)
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
...good mood. The dyers’ strike does not appear to be spreading to his workers, and Bérard and his wife are planning a visit after dinner. René asks Isabelle how her day... (full context)
Love and Hate Theme Icon
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
...engaging René instead about a fishing trip he has planned later in the week with Bérard. As the men converse, Isabelle escapes to her own thoughts. (full context)
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
Bérard and his wife arrive for a visit, and they all stand to move to another... (full context)
Love and Hate Theme Icon
...to check that she is alright. He kisses her quickly and returns downstairs to René, Bérard, and their card game. (full context)
History and the Future Theme Icon
Nature, War, and Morality Theme Icon
...Stephen agrees to go on the fishing trip to the Ancre River with the Azaires. Bérard is unable to come along after all, and Stephen boards the trolley with the family... (full context)
Part Two: France 1916
Nature, War, and Morality Theme Icon
...morning, Stephen thinks about breakfast and wonders if there will be meat. He thinks of Bérard and his theory that English people eat meat every day for breakfast, and the house... (full context)
Part Six: France 1918
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
Bérard sent her father a letter telling him about Isabelle and Max, Jeanne says, and when... (full context)