Is the main hero of the story of Balzac “Gobsek” modern?

Is the main hero of the story of Balzac “Gobsek” modern?

Unshakable only one single feeling,

Embedded in us by nature itself: the instinct

Self-preservation. In the states of European civilization

This instinct is called personal interest.

O. Balzac

“Human comedy” Balzac, which includes the story “Gobsek”, still has not lost its relevance. Perhaps because people have changed little since then. Kindness, sensitivity, devotion, purity still resist evil, envy, cruelty, greed.

When the life of our society began to flow in a different, capitalistic way, abstract concepts for many people such as “bill”, “share”, “mortgage”, etc. were filled with concrete content. The essence of the elevations and falls of many Balzac heroes has cleared up a little.

It turned out that the first steps of free enterprise in independent Ukraine in many respects are similar to the activities of the French bourgeoisie in the era of Restoration.

If we leave aside economic issues and address moral problems, it turns out that money rules our world openly and cynically. And people openly rule the society, like “daddy” Gobsek. After all, who is Gobsek? A man with a dark and by modern standards is clearly a criminal past: he has been a sailor since ten years on various ships, he was a pirate, a treasure hunter, took part in the struggle for the independence of the United States, served the Indian rajas, acquired and lost fortunes several times, usury in Paris. Craft is advantageous, but dangerous. It’s not for nothing that Gobsek always carries weapons with him: a desperate client is capable of anything.

Gobsek utters himself to the detective Dervil about the fact that he is only a piece of the predatory mechanism: “I and my brethren, related to my common interests, meet on certain days of the week in the cafe” Themis “… There we talk, we open each other financial secrets. No major state will deceive us, we have the secrets of all the prominent families. “We have a kind of” black book “, where we enter information about state loans, banks,

and trade.” Is not it really very similar to the modern shadow economy with the mafia at the head? It is difficult, however, to assume that the heirs of Hobsak have the same meticulousness and honesty in their affairs. After all, the wise man of the Balzac hero is primarily interested in “human comedy,” the play of strangers’ passions, and the current “rabbits” they make their first states – they are not up to psychology. In addition, in the times of Gobsek, it was perfectly normal to deceive and circumvent the competitor.

Money always had undisputed power over most people. Now they are talking about this with aloud the same cynicism with which Gobsek shared his life philosophy with Derville. On what is left to hope? Only to the fact that in our time live and work honest, disinterested people, like Dervila or Fanny Malvo, who have not lost their kindness and self-esteem.


Is the main hero of the story of Balzac “Gobsek” modern?