Per Goriot Summary

1350 Words 6 Pages
Honore de Balzac’s ending to Peré Goriot is astonishingly effective as it confirms that moving up the social ladder takes priority over all other aspects of life. The author’s effectiveness with this theme is furthered through the use of motifs and descriptive language with the purpose of aiding the readers development as to what the conflict is, why it is inescapable, and how it affects the character’s lives.
The first chapter establishes a motif in the form of a metaphor that is the root of the conflict throughout the reading, as Balzac describes a character who “seemed to have been one of those donkeys who help grind our great social mill, one of the underlings who never see their masters, some cogwheel on which public misfortune or disgrace
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Balzac also explores poverty, which for the lower class “death seemed to them merely the solution” (19). It is through the idea that death is the only escape from lower class (poverty), that the reader is able establish a sense for the great deal of depression the characters experience, justifying why the characters have a motive for moving up in social class. This is true for Eugène de Rastignac …show more content…
High societal standards are expressed through the use of analogies, as the “expensive objects” and “insensitive luxury” draw similarities to what one may desire in one’s life. The primary purpose of this analogy is to for one to develop an idea of how life is experienced when living in high society, making an emotional connection to the beauty, explaining why Mademoiselle Goriot “would naturally hanker after” (85) these riches, along with the other characters. This is further clarified within the contrast between poverty and wealth, at even the “sight of their poverty, the sight of the room, horrifying;” because “the transition was too abrupt, the contrast too complete.”. It is through the analogy of horror to poverty that the reader is able to create a connection to how unattractive poverty is, resulting in a negative reaction. Upon the exposure to the extreme contrast between high society and low society, Rastignac’s ambition is “whipped to a greater intensity.” and justifiably so, as one who is placed in lower society would undoubtedly want to escape the poverty. It is clear to see that the riches of “social life at its most elegant, young vivid faces surrounded by the wonders of art and luxury, passionate minds full of poetry;” is incredibly enchanting,

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