I taught them to trample me with their feet…
For their sake I have devalued myself.
O. de Balzac. Father Gorio
In the novel “Father Gorio”, written by Honore de Balzac, we are witnesses to many human dramas and tragedies. But one of the main issues here is the problem of the relationship between fathers and children, even in the title.
The fate of Father Gorio is sad and tragic, which, in my opinion, can not leave any reader indifferent.
When we get acquainted with this person for the first time, we see the image of a strange, decrepit old man – one of the most miserable “spongers” in the cheap boarding house of the widow Voke. He removes one of the poorest, smallest and dirty rooms in the attic, and he himself serves as a permanent object of ridicule. For the time being, everyone believes that he is alone, has no family, no relatives.
What is our surprise when it turns out that this practically impoverished old man has two beautiful daughters who are married to very rich and influential people – a count and a banker! What happened in this family?
In his youth, Gorio was a working vermicelli. Thanks to his intelligence, diligence, entrepreneurial spirit and other business qualities, he managed to buy the business of his deceased master and well “untwist”. Having earned his fortune, Gorio became famous, could afford a lot. His heart was completely owned by his wife, whom he idolized. After the death of his wife, Gorio suffered all his feelings, all his ardent love for daughters, who from the very childhood knew no refusal in anything. All their whims and whims were fulfilled immediately, the girls were surrounded by luxury and wealth. The father, who did not like the soul in them, “blew off a speck of dust”, but in an atmosphere of permissiveness they grew up in beautiful and well-groomed, but selfish and soulless monsters. The father gave them complete freedom in choosing their husbands, and Dolphin and Anastasi, having received as a dowry for half of his father’s fortune and being wealthy brides, luxury and nobility were the criteria of choice. But this, as we shall see later, did not make them happy in marriage.
Having received the opportunity to enter the higher world, daughters and sons-in-law began to feel shy of Gorio’s father, who trades in flour. Not wanting to upset his beloved Anastasi and Dolphin, Horio, to the detriment of his own advantage, abandoned trade, leaving himself a lifetime rent. But this did not help to improve relations. With pain in his heart, the old man noticed that he embarrasses his daughters with his presence in their homes, and he settled in the boarding house of the widow Voke, living on a broad foot and renting a decent apartment. And what about daughters? Only occasionally did they allow their father to see himself, and then from the back door, as the doors of their houses for him were closed forever. Accustomed to use his father as an endless source of wealth, his daughters gradually sucked all his money out of him, as their husbands were not recognized in all expenses. But Father Gorio, even seeing these callousness, callousness, cruelty, did not cease to worship ” their angels. “He gave everything to them, without demanding anything in return for the scant attention and caress that they paid him with prudent farsightedness. The father, driven to poverty, having sold the last valuable things, moved to a dirty little room in the attic and...
Not having allocated money for medicines, the soulless beauties did not even come to the funeral, sending empty carriages for a look. I would like to think that, buried on the pennies of two poor students, the father will be an eternal reproach to their conscience, but somehow I can not believe it. Too much of Anastasi and Dolphin are busy, are they up to their father? To reproaches of conscience?
Of course, we can assume that the environment is here to blame, which created false ideals, which raised gold into idols and idols. But I think that any family always remains a small independent world, where warmth, mutual assistance, mutual respect should be in the first place. Father Gorio himself is to blame for the tragedy that befell him, but it’s too heavy for mistakes…