Consequently its novels have much the same quality. But, strange as it sometimes seems now, the romanticists thought themselves better portrayers of human nature than their opponents had been.
That such a literary treatment of life does not necessarily belong to realism can be seen in the works of Alphonse Daudet and in some of those of Guy de Old goriot essays. The effect of a novel by Balzac is totally different from that of one by Old goriot essays. Here the author has sought to reconstruct the Paris of the late Middle Ages, though modern scientific objective historians may say he has not succeeded; he has tried to people this city of his imaginative reconstruction with varied characters, each one intended to show more individuality and more vigor than the anaemic kings and heroes of late neo-classic tragedy.
The romanticist said that life consists of varied experiences, that souls are multiform, and that the drab monotony of classicism portrays only commonplaces which do not make up the whole of life. The naturalists delighted in description of vice and disease, the dramshop, the hospital and the brothel.
Both of them wrote novels, but some of the best work of both, certainly of Maupassant, was done in the short story, or nouvelle. It was an age of rationalism and of science. Rousseau is looked upon as the source of the Old goriot essays school which, after his death, occupied so important a place in the literary history of the earlier nineteenth century.
Victor Hugo would not have understood that his novels might, after his time, derive their chief interest less from this portrayal of character than from their incidents, and particularly from their tearful emotionalism and the vague humanitarianism which is in the spirit of modern democracy.
We are prone to call the heroes of romanticism a motley herd of eccentrics. But the connection of both kinds with life has been fairly close, and, in the seventeenth century, discussion of popular romances was so much the preoccupation of social circles such as the Hotel de Rambouillet, that not only did the novelist try to portray characters he saw, but the leisure classes often sought to model their life after the pattern of the fiction they read.
But when his father wished him to devote himself definitely to the practice of law he revolted, and at the age of twenty-one took up with determination the profession of letters.
But he supposed, at least, that their sentimental experiences were those of human beings. No longer handling his pen, as Hugo did, like a broad brush, Balzac corrected and recorrected his work in proof until the original text was unrecognizable in its final form.
It is true that to us the fiction of the romantic age is apt to appear a chaos of imaginative weavings. Yet Balzac, the realist, like Hugo, the romanticist, is trying to portray human nature. Consequently, the novels of Balzac are most valuable documents for the study of the period they chiefly describe, the reign of Louis Philippe, when the moneyed bourgeoisie or middle-class was in control, and when material interests were much more prevalent than one would infer from reading the romanticists alone.
So the novels of Mlle. Yet the personal bias of the writer may, no less than in romanticism, make the novel deviate from the truth of life through the cult of the exceptional.
Thus it may be inferred that the great masters of French literature have generally aimed to copy life. Nobody is likely to forget old man Goriot, or the miser Grandet, or to confuse them with other characters in fiction.
But though Balzac had passed through a brief romantic discipleship in youth, his great literary production belongs to a very different school.
If this statement be true of the professionally idealistic romance, it is the more so of the realistic novel. In his short stories he has composed little masterpieces of grace and tenderness, as well as often of brisk wit and good-humored satire.
This was the method of the photograph or of the daguerreotype, the close reproduction of details of life and manners. Works of these two types appear, judging from their names, to move in different planes.
Art is not a study of positive reality; it is a quest for ideal truth, and the Vicar of Wakefield was a more useful and a healthier book than the Paysan perverti and the Liaisons dangereuses.
So the shepherds and the shepherdesses, the knights and the nymphs of the story, discuss love in all its actions and reactions, and try to define the various kinds of love, faithful, fickle, or Platonic.
But the great writers of realism have been masters in creating children of the brain whose actions and characters we may discuss almost with the vivid interest we feel for men and women of history.
His father, Bernard Francois Balssa, who adopted the form of the family name made familiar by the novelist, came of peasant stock from the south of France. Of George Sand we are less justified in saying that she tries to copy life exactly.
This school consciously reacted against what it considered the cut-and-dried rationalism of the hitherto reigning literature, and advocated the cult of feeling and a return to nature.Essays and criticism on Honoré Balzac's Père Goriot - Père Goriot.
The old man has spent the last of his money on the apartment and is now penniless. The two sisters argue and bicker like vultures over who should have the last of their father’s money, and Goriot collappses with a stroke. He dies on the same day as the Viscountess gives her last ball, having retired frome society.
Essays for Pere Goriot.
[tags: Balzac Pere Goriot Essays] Powerful Essays words ( pages) Confrontations Between Young and Old in Shakespeare's King Lear Essays. Home Essays Old Goriot Honoré de Balzac. Old Goriot Honoré de Balzac. Topics: Honoré de Balzac Pages: ( words) Published: October 23, Old Goriot Honoré de Balzac The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction, Vol.
XIII, Part 1. Selected by Charles William Eliot. This aim has, on the whole, been consistently pursued in both divisions of French fiction, the idealistic and the realistic novels.
Works of these two types appear, judging from their names, to move in different planes.
But the connection of both kinds with life has been fairly close, and, in the seventeenth century, discussion of [ ]. Pere Goriot study guide contains a biography of Honore de Balzac, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
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