Conquest of Hearts
Strictly all Stendhal experiences his hero in love. It is in love Zhyulen Sorel, despite all attempts to turn this feeling into an instrument of ambitious designs, nature is revealed as a selfless, passionate and tender, without the rest is given to the natural sense, by force of circumstances from time to time to hide in the innermost depths of his soul. The ability to love, in Stendhal’s view, is the surest sign of the greatness of Julien Sorel’s soul. Therefore, all the sympathies of the writer on the side of the main character of “Red and Black”.
If at the very beginning of the novel for Julien to win the heart of the unattainable wife of the mayor of Verrier is just a matter of “honor”, and he thinks about it as his idol Napoleon probably thought about the next fortress that he needed to take, then it soon becomes clear that all his clumsy tricks in the field of love are defeated by the sincere, life-giving and fiery feeling that Madame
Once in the aristocratic salons, Julien, the son of the owner of the sawmill, a hereditary commoner, bestowed by the strict but honest abbot Pirard, did not lose his head from the brilliance of the upper world. He is well aware of his value and soberly assesses his ambiguous position in the society of aristocratic nobility. But even here, in this thoroughly hypocritical and impregnated aristocratic arrogant society, his natural mind, naturalness of behavior and inner nobility cause in people of wide views respect for him, admiration for him, and even the love of Matilda de La Mole – “the most brilliant beauty of the high society “.
All conceited calculations of Julien are scattered like card-houses, as soon as he encounters a real and sincere feeling. “When he took a loose ground in the darkness… he
In the eyes of the Marquis and his daughter, Julien for the first time in his life occupies the place that he really deserves. They recognize for him the right to be even better than them: more talented, sublime, smarter and sincere in feelings. Let us recall the remark that Stendhal concludes Matilda’s reflection on Julien after the memorable night of their first meeting alone: ”In general, she did not think about love at all, she is bored today.”
Perhaps, it is this recognition of Julien’s merits that pushes him, as soon as he learns of Madame de Renal’s letter to the Marquise, a terrible act: he shoots at Madame de Renal in the church. No, he does not feel revenge for the former mistress, but the desire to justify himself in the eyes of those who believe in him, whose hearts he won and who now, after this vile letter, had the right to doubt his devotion and honor. Thus, in the image of Julien, a healthy, natural principle overcomes the hated and disgusting Stendhal hypocrisy.