Under Napoleon, a young man like Julien Sorel could quickly make a brilliant career. But the political winds at the moment when we meet with the young hero of Stendhal, blowing in a different direction. Julien Sorel repeatedly makes sure of this. “One day, walking alone in the seminar garden, he heard a conversation between masons who repaired the fence:
-Well, now, our turn has come. A new set announced!
– Yes, when he was – what, in good time! From the mason you were made an officer, or even a general, saw such cases.
“Now, brother, you will not see!” One gollyba goes to the soldiers. And the one who clinks in his pocket remains at home. “
Julien is pleased with the fact that he guessed the changes in time. In France, reigns
Once, in the presence of Julien, M. de Renal began to throw stones at a peasant girl, who dared to walk the forbidden path of his garden. Julien perceives this beastly escapade of the mayor as a personal insult and warning at his own expense: “Every cricket know your pole.” “Such moments are made by the Robesbiers,” Stendhal says. And this remark, casually abandoned by the writer, helps the reader to imagine what was happening in the soul of Julien Sorel, a gifted and ambitious commoner.
Monsieur de Renal, the owner of the city and the “castle owner”, rivaling vulgarity with the petty bourgeois himself, behaves like a real bourgeois towards his child’s educator. Of course, he is “rodovit”, and with money, and Julien Sorel does not possess either. Therefore, Julien’s refusal of the “gift” of Madame de Renal, although of a sincere but humiliating youth, causes Mr. de Renal’s terrible indignation: “How! .. And you admitted that your servant refused to you?” The mayor himself at one time could not abandon the “nail factory”, although already since 1815 “he is ashamed that he is a manufacturer”.
The capital’s aristocrats do not behave any better. The only difference is that Julien, as a representative of the third estate, is not worthy even to be amused. “We go around silently,” notes Stendhal, “a lot of small adventures that could put Julien in a funny way, if he were not considered by his position, in fact, unworthy of being amused.”
Stendhal, having spent his hero through all the tortures of offended pride, which Julien had to pay for his advancement in society, sarcasm draws the top of the French state pyramid. All these regulars of the mansion of the Count de La Mole, who boast of their genealogies, are ready, without a shadow of embarrassment, for the sake of dealing with dissent, to betray their homeland, calling on the defense of their class privileges by foreign troops. Well, perhaps, the brother of Mademoiselle de La Mole was right, on the eve of the revolution of 1830, warning his sister about Julien: “Take care of this young man with his energetic character! .. Start again the revolution, he will send us all to the guillotine. “