The subject of money in the novel, or rather, “damned passion to gold,” is explored by the writer in two main aspects: philosophical as the cause of the disintegration of natural “natural” links, when spiritual values are deliberately sacrificed for the sake of achieving material values, and social, when the human condition in society is determined by the thickness of the purse, and the loss of capital inevitably dooms him to a loss of face, and then he automatically becomes “nothing” – an empty space.
The central figure of this artistic study is the protagonist of the novel – Father Gorio is a typical representative of the Restoration and the Golden Calf. Even in his youth, Gorio firmly believed in the power of gold: everything is bought and sold. Having mastered this trivial truth, he became “dexterous, thrifty and so enterprising that in 1789 he bought the whole business of his master” and instantly turned from
a working vermichelischik into a successful entrepreneur. From that moment on, “he devoted all the mental faculties to bread trade” and, successfully speculating in flour, quickly became rich. Inventiveness, sagacity, ability to anticipate and wait, ruthlessness in competition and fanatical devotion to his work are the qualities that helped him achieve success.
However, soon he became a widower and, forever rejecting the idea of a new marriage, devoted himself, with his usual passion, to his daughters. His business was proceeding successfully, and the “angels” adored by him had no refusal in anything. He hired them dear mentors, who taught them secular manners, rules of good taste, external refinement, but not inward nobility, kindness and sensitivity. Papa Gorio obsequiously fulfilled the most absurd desires of his daughters. Goro’s blind love for his daughters completely deprived him of his natural circumspection, caution and prudence.
Meanwhile, the education received and the plebeian essence of spoiled girls, multiplied by the corrupted customs of the “age of
gold”, who imagines himself a “golden age”, predetermined their future destiny. Father’s money opened doors of secular salons for them, and soon the elder daughter of Gorio, Anastasi, became Countess de Resto, and the youngest daughter, Delphine, was Baroness Nucingen. As soon as Gorio’s daughters “joined” the aristocratic society, the bourgeois origin of their father began to shock them. True, for the sake of money, he was tolerated for some time, but the flour trade Gorio had to be left as a shameful occupation and despised in a secular society, where, however, he himself was not admitted. Despite the fact that Father Gorio went to such a large sacrifice, his daughters soon made him feel that he was superfluous at their table. And although his money is still needed by the Count, and the baron, and their wives, the kinship with him is concealed as shameful. Before Rastignac, penetrated into the mystery of the relationship of the Count de Resto with Father Gorio, close the door of the house, as an unwelcome witness to shame.
Так папаша Горио попадает в пансион мадам Воке. Разоряясь и постепенно переселяясь под самый чердак пансиона, он продолжает боготворить своих кумиров, иногда издали любуясь ими. “Бриллианты, золотая табакерка, цепочка, драгоценности – все ушло одно вслед за другим. Он расстался с васильковым фраком, со всем своим парадом и стал носить зимой и летом сюртук из грубого сукна каштанового цвета, жилет из козьей шерсти и серые штаны из толстого буксина. Горио худел все больше, икры его опали, лицо… необычайно сморщилось, на лбу залегли складки…” Глаза его “потухли, выцвели, стали серо-желтого оттенка,. ..а красная закраина их век будто сочилась кровью. Одним внушал он омерзение, другим жалость”. Но с той же страстью, с которой Горио добывал свой миллион, он продолжает безрассудно и беспредельно эгоистично любить своих дочерей, которые иногда еще пускают своего отца к себе в дом с черного хода.
It should be noted that “passion” is the family trait of the Gorio family. Passionately and mercilessly mined his million father Gorio. With all their inherent selfishness and passion satisfy their whims of his daughter. And for Father Gorio, and for his daughters passion is a natural feeling. The only difference between them is that Father Gorio, although in a distorted form, has the ability to love his daughters. In it the law of natural “natural” connections is still alive – the father’s love for his children.
His daughter – Anastasi and Dolphin – is already the product of the disintegration of these natural “natural” connections. They are naively natural in the other – in a passionate desire to satisfy their whims. It is natural for them to demand money from their father, as it is natural to have a lover. When the father of Gorio sells his rent, condemning himself to a beggarly existence in order to furnish the apartment of Rastignac, her lover, at the whim of the Dolphins, the daughter comes from this insane deed of her father in indescribable ecstasy. No shadow of remorse… Everything is so natural and… scary. And when Gorio’s eldest daughter, Anastasi, makes her sick father take the lender to his last silver to pay the dressmaker for a ball gown, she achieves it as “natural” as her sister. For the daughter of Gorio is a true believer, that any of their whims is the only important one. And as soon as it turns out that the father is already insolvent, then interest in him also “naturally” disappears.
But on the edge of the terrible abyss, Father Gorio continues to naively believe that everything can be bought – even the love of his daughters. This faith completely overshadows any concept of human dignity, which, incidentally, Gorio has not the slightest idea. Therefore, the tragic end of the deceived father in his best feelings can only be conditionally called a tragedy. For even on his deathbed, the conception of Father Gorio about human dignity comes down to one thing: it’s all about money! In the dying delirium thrown by his daughters, Gorio whispers: “Write to them that I leave millions as legacies! Honest! I’ll go to Odessa to make vermicelli!”
Судьбу отца Горио порой сравнивают с трагедией шекспировского короля Лира. Действительно, в сюжетах этих произведений много общего. Но характеры главных героев не имеют между собой никакого сходства. Король Лир, пройдя через предательство своих дочерей, остается трагически величественным. Осознав свои ошибки, он не только не теряет своего достоинства, но обретает истинную мудрость. Прозрение выстрадано королем Лиром ценой жестоких душевных мук, поэтому его образ трагичен в высоком значении этого слова.
Balzac’s the same hero is rather pathetic. And even the grievous complaints of Father Gorio in moments of enlightenment about civil laws and justice, about the dying homeland are terrible for their naivety: for everything else, now he believes also that daughters can be forced to love their father with the help of gendarmes! “Daughters, daughters! .. I want to see them! Send them to the gendarmes, bring them by force! Justice for me, for me everything is nature, civil laws!” I protest, if the fathers are trampled on with their feet, the fatherland will perish! “
The errors of Father Gorio are sad, his end is sad and terrible. Duchess de Lange, in the presence of Rastignac, telling the story of Father Gorio and his daughters, coolly concludes her with the words: “Of course, all this seems terrible, and yet such cases we see every day.”