Honore De Balzac 's Pere Goriot Essay

1193 Words Apr 27th, 2015 null Page
Honore De Balzac’s novel Pere Goriot focuses on Eugene de Rastignac, a young and naive law student, strives to climb to the upper echelon of French society during the Restoration era; meanwhile, Jean-Joachim Goriot, an old retired merchant, tries to appease the growing economic demands of his two daughters while Vautrin, a smooth-talking criminal, attempts to gain great financial compensation through his nefarious plots. All of these characters’ lives intersect as they each attempt to navigate the socially contorted aspects of French culture during the Bourbon Restoration, a time of political and economic corruption. This novel serves as a Bildungsroman as Eugene de Rastignac is taken in by the glamor of Parisian society yet must undergo multiple trials and tribulations in order to become part of the bourgeoisie. In order to achieve this type of celebrity in France, Rastignac must experience the harsh realties of the common working middle class in order to become the best. It takes the death of Goriot and the imprisonment of Vautrin for Rastignac to fully understand the culture of French society during the restoration. These experiences force Rastignac to learn that this Restoration-era French society only values significant amounts of wealth, no matter how it is earned, and copious amounts of social respect from the elite French class, both of which display the overall influence that social and economic power had in France at this time. Early on, Rastignac learns of the…

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