Image of the destructive power of money in the story of Balzac “Gobsek”
Gold! Streams of gold. To implement our
Whims, you need time, you need material
Opportunities or efforts. Well!
In gold everything is contained in the bud, and it all gives
From 1830 to 1848, Balzac created three versions of the novel, gradually tightening up the image of the protagonist – the usurer Gobsek, whose surname is not accidentally translated as a “gingerbread man.” The moneylender is a typical figure for the era of the heyday of capitalist society, when a trader needs to seize a large sum to not miss a profitable deal, when a burnt-out aristocrat is ready to lay family jewelry, just to live in the usual luxury for which he already lacks the means.
Gobsek is a vivid example of how greed can ruin human life. In his youth, he sailed a boat on a ship, visited India and America, was exposed to dangers, sought treasure, fought, cobbled and lost fortune several times and eventually ended up in Paris,
No less than Hobsak, those characters who at first seem to be victims of a moneylender suffer from the power of money. In fact, the Countess de Resto, ready for anything for her lover, and the brilliant secular lion Marquis de Tray, who uses her weakness and makes him pay debts, people are more dishonorable than father Gobsec. The Countess not only ruins her children, she is ready for any blasphemy to destroy the will, which, it seems to her, condemns her to poverty.
But these are not the only ones. The novel begins in the mansion of the Viscountess de Grandlieu, whose daughter is in love with the eldest son of the Countess de Resto. The scandalous reputation of the countess makes marriage impossible between them. But the solicitor Dervil tells the story of the life and death of Hobsak, who managed to save and increase the state of the deceased count. Now Erast de Resto is a rich heir. And this dramatically changes the attitude of the viscountess to him. She is not interested in the mind and soul of a young man, since he is rich. And now you can reconcile with his mother: money and the old coat of arms will replace virtue. This is perfectly understood by Derville, who, although an integral part of the bustling business world, has retained the responsiveness and desire to help people.
This is the origin of human studies of Balzac: he does not extol anyone, and does not brand anyone definitively. Severely he judges only the foundations of bourgeois society, where the power of money entails crime and vice.