Interesting and original are the images of Madame de Renal and Matilda de la Mole. In the moral and psychological plan of the novel they act as these poles, between which the brief life of Julien Sorel flashed. It is the love for these two women that reflects the different facets of the character’s character. Unites these unlike “novels” only that they both began as a tactical move on the part of Julien, and over time turned into a real passionate passion, from which “he flew out of his head all… ambitious nonsense, and he was becoming simple yourself”. In the creation of female images, the author applied the theory of love, his species and “crystallization” set forth earlier in a special treatise in different epochs and in different social environments.
Madame de Renal is a young woman from a provincial aristocracy, sincere and direct, with an innate sense of disgust for everything low and vulgar, capable of a deep and selfless
feeling. Disappointed in the man, she gave up personal happiness and devoted her life to children and God. However, the meeting with Julien aroused in her “love-passion, high and noble form of love, accessible only to those who are averse to self-interest and ambition, hypocrisy and selfishness.” This feeling brings the heroines not only happiness, but also severe mental anguish, and even after the beloved almost deprived her of life, the woman tries to become his support and delight in the terrible days of waiting for the verdict. When Julien was gone, “she tried to commit suicide, but three days after the execution died, embracing her children” – these words end the novel.
Matilda de la Mole belongs to the top of the metropolitan aristocracy and, not least, to the era of romanticism, the peak of which in France is in the 20-30s of the XIX century. It can be said that it embodies romantic individualism and romantic fantastic ideas in a specific feminine-aristocratic context. Attention Matilda, trampling bescharakternyh young aristocrats, attracts commoner Sorel. Her feelings for Julien,
which begins as a “feeling from the head” and feeds mainly on ambition and vanity, subsequently does not change significantly – she is proud that, having decided to bond and marry the son of a peasant, she did something she can not do one woman from her environment.
When Sorel enters prison, Matilda begins a fierce struggle for his salvation, but “among all the heavy worries and fears for the life of a loved one she was not going to survive, Julien guessed in her the constant need to amaze the world with her extraordinary love, the greatness of her actions.” He felt that “the motherly soul of Matilda constantly needed an audience, spectators.” And after the execution of her beloved Matilda, she acts in her own style: following Queen Margarita of Navarre, who herself buried the severed head of her lover, Boniface de la Mole, she is going to bury Julien’s head at the top of the mountain in his native land.
As the ambition in Julien’s soul faded, he retired from Matilda and returned to Madame de Renal, her love for her revived and filled him again. The hero admits to himself that he never felt as happy as during the interview with this woman in prison in the last weeks of his life.