The boy does not speak. The boy has no name. The boy, raised half-wild in the forests of southern France, sets out alone into the wilderness and the greater world beyond. Without experience of another person aside from his mother, the boy must learn what it is to be human, to exist among people, and to live beyond simple survival. As this wild and naive child attempts to join civilization, he encounters earthquakes and car crashes, ogres and artists, and, eventually, all-encompassing love and an inescapable war.