Sunday, 28 March 2010





Click a numbered title below to access your chosen topic:


1) DETAILED SUMMARY OF THE BOOK with COMMENTARY


(This is a very detailed summary with comments and a few illustrations)



2) Biography of Balzac 1799 - 1850

(These notes describe the life and the character of Honoré de Balzac, giving us a clearer understanding of the French society which Balzac set out to paint)

3) The character of Eugène de Rastignac

(A principal theme of these notes is how far Rastignac abandoned his principles to launch himself in Paris society)

Rastignac gazes down on Paris and vows revenge


4) The character of Le Père Goriot

(These notes bring together the scattered biographical details given about Goriot in the novel. Also they seek  to examine in what light Balzac portrays  the character. Is he merely a deluded man, in the grip of a self- destructive mania or is he a beautiful soul - as Rastignac describes him?)

Goriot as played by Georges Aznavour in the latest French TV adaptation


5) The character of Vautrin

(The diabolical character in whom Balzac finds much to admire)

Right a sketch of Vautrin.

6) The two daughters of Goriot

(How far are each of the two young ladies implicated in the tragedy of the story?)

The voluptuous Anastasie

7) The character of Mme de Beauséant

(Balzac insists on her nobility of character, but does she stay on his pedestal ?)
Mme de Beauseant in her private box at the theatre.

8) The character of Mme Vauquer

(A landlady with a fixed smile but with some venom behind it)

9) The character of Victorine Taillefer

(The sweet Romantic heroine who falls in love with our hero, Rastignac.)

10) The character of Mlle. Michonneau

(A traitress with a seedy previous life history, possessing no redeeming features)

11) Balzac's Comédie Humaine

(Explaining how this novel is linked by Balzac into an ambitious literary system, constantly changed by the author. The theories behind this.)

12) Balzac - His theories.

(Balzac's view of the world which shaped his stories and the characters that he created.)

13) The importance of the descriptions

Examining the lengthy descriptions found in the book and appreciating their importance in the achievement of the author's aims



 

Perhaps when Rastignac fulfilled Delphine's ambitions, by escorting her to the very elite ball of Mme de Beauséant, they danced together like this on that very tragic night
DY 28/03/10


LINKS TO MY OTHER FRENCH LITERATURE NOTES



Anatole France – Les Dieux ont Soif – Summary and Historical Background

Balzac – Le Père Goriot - Summary and Topics

Brassens – 70 songs with translations

Carla Bruni Songs with translations (50 songs  to date)

Camus – L’étranger - Summary and Topics

Camus – La Chute - Summary and Topics

Duhamel Le Notaire du Havre - Summary and Topics

Voltaire – Candide - Summary and Topics

Hervé Bazin- Vipère au Poing- Summary -Political and Social Background

Pagnol -Le Château de ma mère Summary - Background -Marcel Pagnol's biography