Comparing Eeliy And Lelion

Submitted By sakuraxue
Words: 1622
Pages: 7

The Comparison between Eugène and Denise During the time period which the tale of Père Goriot took place, the nobles’ power and influences started to weaken along with the rise of bourgeois. Meanwhile, the story of the Ladies’ Paradise vividly depicted the rise of the departmental store and its impact on the neighborhood shops and the society. The two main characters in these two novels, Eugène and Denise, were both poor and in demand of success and wealth. After their arrival in Paris, they were attracted to the luxurious lifestyle and became more ambitious. In both novels, the main character eagerly seek out for fortune in Paris; however, the differences between their characteristics resulted in adverse methods of achieving success, which implied the contradicted viewpoints on motivation possessed by the two authors, Balzac and Zola. Eugène was from a noble family while Denise was from a merchant family; moreover, due to the lack of money, both of them were burdened with families’ wishes and their demand for wealth. Balzac described Eugène’s wearing on page 17 as, “on ordinary days he wore an old shabby coat and waistcoat, with trousers to match mended boots, and the eternal student’s frayed, black, ill-knotted necktie”. The shabby clothes suggests the poverty faced by Eugène. Moreover, as mentioned on page 35, “…his large family’s insecure future which depended on himself; the thriftiness with which they hoarded the most insignificant products; …, increased tenfold his craving for success and his going to distinguish himself” (Balzac). On the other hand, as depicted by Zola, “After the death of their father, who had squandered every penny he had in his dye-works, she had acted as mother to the two children. The little she earned at Cornaille’s had been quite insufficient to keep the three of them” (8). Both of them were poor and demanded money. As for Eugène, he was burdened with the hope of his family; similarly, it became Denise’s obligation to earn a living and bring up her younger brothers. Although both of the two characters were poor and demanded money, there were still some differences in their characteristics. Eugène was a noble born that “his appearance, manners, and general bearing proclaimed the son of a noble family whose early upbringing had been in the best traditions” (17, Balzac). On the other hand, Denise was nicknamed as “clogs” and “gollywog” (122). Denise was from urban areas, that the workers made fun of her appearance and ignorance. Obviously, Eugène would be much more intelligent and educated than Denise. However, both of them never received the respect that they deserved. Moreover, as implied by Balzac and Zola, the wealthy bourgeois were gaining importance in social status.
Although both of Eugène and Denise demanded wealth, the differences in their accepted values and characteristics resulted in the adverse methods in seeking success in Paris. On page 35, Balzac mentioned that,
“At first he had decided to throw himself blindly into work; but he had been immediately diverted by the need of acquiring connections. He had observed how strong the influence of women was in social life, and suddenly he decided to strike out into society and find himself patronesses” (35).
Although Eugène was capable of obtaining success through hard work, he took a short cut by finding a lover and introducing himself into the upper society. He could succeed if he study hard; however, he was so eager to enjoy the luxurious lifestyle and accompany the beautiful ladies that he was deviated from his original path to success. It shows the weakness resisting the influences from the environment. When Eugène meets Madame de Beauséant, he desperately claims that, “I’m sure it must be extremely difficult in Paris to meet a young, pretty, rich, smart, unattached women, and I need one to teach me what you women are so good expounding: life” (75, Balzac). In order to squeeze himself into the aristocracy in Paris, the easiest and