The world outlook and personal destiny of Julien Sorel have developed in close dependence on the historical events that took place in France. From the past, he borrows his code of honor, which should be strictly enforced. In this code the requests of the plebeian ambitious can be looked through, but Julien Sorel will never allow himself to build his own happiness on the troubles of his neighbor. The code of commandment that honors Julien prescribes to him “a clear thought, not blinded by prejudices and trembling before the officials, and most importantly boldness, energy, dislike of all spiritual flaccidity, both in others and especially in oneself.”
The present is doomed to Julien Sorel, the “man of 93”, to slavish existence and dishonor. Therefore, his very hypocrisy is not humiliating obedience, but a kind of challenge to the “masters of life”, who see in him not a person, not a young man capable of great things, but only a quick servant.
perfectly understands that it’s not enough just to say: “I do not want to be a lackey.” It is necessary for them not to become, in spite of everything. And if in a world in which a poor young man wants to establish himself as a person, hypocrisy is the only way for him to outplay the enemy, well, he is ready to recognize hypocrisy as his only weapon. Contrary to his inner nature, he will pretend to be a saintly person, talk about his beloved Napoleon “just as with disgust”, consider himself “an unsurpassed hypocrite.” He will find the strength to move stoically all that will fall to his lot. He is forced to go to the seminary of Besancon, the only educational institution in which a man of his estate could continue his education. And again, to hypocrite and break yourself.
Julien Sorel has nothing to reproach himself for, he sees that the religiosity of the seminarians is hypocritical and often turns into the lowest hypocrisy: the limit of their dreams is a profitable parish near Besancon and satiety.
“Stupidity and donkey stubbornness” surround
Julien and in the high society. Realizing this, the clever plebeian began to please the aristocrats by choosing a very simple way, “calling white black and black white”: “One evening in the Opera, sitting in the box of Madame de Fervac, Julien praised to the skies the ballet” Manon Lesko. “The only reason for such praise was that he himself found him insignificant.”
Julien had to strain from the last forces, constantly tame his nature in the name of the goal that he set for himself. “In this creature, almost every day a storm raged,” which broke down about a dam of inexorable “must”, dictated by reason and caution.
He had to fight daily on invisible parquet barricades, to go to the attack not with a sword in his hand, but with dodgy speeches on his lips, to be a scout in the camp of the enemy. He fought for himself, but at the same time for the dignity of a man despised by the powers that be, and not his fault, but his misfortune, that the only weapon in this struggle could only be hypocrisy. The habit of hypocrisy is like a contagious disease, which is not so easy to get rid of: there is a need for surgical intervention. And Julien realizes this: on the brink of death, in prison, having passed through the test of loneliness, he is ruthless towards himself: “But why am I hypocritical, cursing hypocrisy? .. I say one, with myself, two steps from death and all “Such a hypocrite… O nineteenth century!”
Even on the edge of the abyss, which is mercilessly ready to swallow him, Julien can save his life only at the price of hypocrisy: Julien’s confessor invites him to “solemnly address to the bosom of the church” for pardon, “and so that it becomes widely publicized.” “You can bring great benefits to the cause of religion… The tears caused by your conversion will destroy the pernicious effect of the ten editions of Voltaire’s writings,” confesses Julien the confessor, who himself “was not protected from the machinations of the Jesuits.” But there is a limit to everything, and Julien’s answer leaves no hope for hypocrisy: “And what will I have then,” Julien objected coldly, “if I myself despise myself?” I was ambitious and did not intend to repent of it; , as our time demands… But I know in advance,