Love and loneliness in the fate of Eugenie Grande (based on the novel by H. de Balzac) - Honore de Balzac

Essays on literary works - 2023

Love and loneliness in the fate of Eugenie Grande (based on the novel by H. de Balzac)
Honore de Balzac

Peru, the classic of French literature - Honore de Balzac - owns a huge number of works. On their pages, the writer observed human nature and relationships, the mores and customs of his era. Most of the author's works are included in his grandiose epic "The Human Comedy", deeply and extensively presenting Balzac's attitude to what he saw and what he thought about.

The novel "Eugenia Grande", written in 1833, describes the fate of a girl living in a society in which everything is subject to the power of money. Wealth is the main value and meaning of life for most people around Evgenia. The heroine's father made his way from commoners to bourgeois and became one of the most influential people in Saumur. His main life principle was saving and increasing his capital. It was to this that everything in the existence of Monsieur Grande and his family was subordinated.

In fact, the young heroine never felt that she was the daughter of a very rich man. From the earliest years, Eugene worked tirelessly. In her house there was the most severe, poor situation. Recall that when Charles Grande first appeared at his uncle's house, he thought that the affairs of this family were bad - the atmosphere and food were so miserable in the house.

The father gave Eugenia small gifts, consoling himself with the fact that they would make up his daughter's dowry. The issue of Eugenia's marriage was, of course, also decided by the father. Both mother and daughter Grande are accustomed to obey him in everything, unquestioningly fulfill all his requirements.

Two applicants fought for the hand and fortune of the heroine - the son of the banker de Grassin and the nephew of the notary Cruchot. I think that Evgenia did not feel sympathy for either one or the other. But in a society where money is the first value, as well as the word of a man, feelings are not taken into account. It seems to me that even the heroine herself took this for granted, because marriage with both Grassin and Kruchon could bring considerable benefits to family capital, and this, according to Grande, was the most important.

But Balzac shows us that life according to purely materialistic principles leads to tragedy. And the punishment is very severe. At one fine moment, Charles Grande appears in the life of Eugenia. This still very young man arrives in Saumur with a suicide letter from his father and turns the life of the main character upside down.

Before the advent of Charles, Eugene did not know love. At twenty-three, this meek girl lived a monotonous, quiet and measured life. Her constant companion and interlocutor was her mother - and nothing more. Charles at first awakened in the girl a still vague, unclear, but feeling. Out of sympathy for her cousin, she even went to an unheard-of impudence - she asked the maid to light a fireplace in the guest's room.

Gradually, a feeling flares up between young people. Young and romantic Charles and Eugenia swear eternal love to each other, enjoy each other's company, make plans for the future.

For the sake of her lover, Eugene was ready for anything. She gives Charles her savings, made up of gifts from her father. The girl knows that her father will be furious when he discovers this, but she takes risks for the sake of her loved one.

Meanwhile, Charles leaves for the East Indies in search of happiness and wealth. Evgenia remains to wait for him. Hopes, dreams and memories brighten up the harsh life of a girl in her father's house. And life there is getting harder and harder - Grande's father, having discovered the "delinquency" of his daughter, rages. With his malice and stinginess, he brings his wife to death and almost to suicide - Evgenia. Only the death of his wife makes old man Grande change his mind a little.

Evgenia is left alone with her father, with loneliness and longing for her beloved, with the cruel world of money and gain. There is no news from Charles, and the life of the heroine flows sluggishly and monotonously. The father, anticipating his imminent death, begins to introduce Evgenia into all affairs, simultaneously instilling in her his philosophy of stinginess. As a result, Grande wins - he makes his own likeness out of his daughter, a lonely closed creature, engaged in the accumulation of family capital.

This sad fate of Eugenia is also facilitated by the fact that Charles, having returned to France, has turned into a completely different person. He matured and began to play by the rules of the "world of money." He subordinated his life to the acquisition of wealth, so he was going to marry a rich heiress. The hero now did not even remember Evgeny. He considers himself free from all obligations by sending his cousin a check for a certain amount.

This event was for Eugenia, who had lived all these years with her feelings for Charles, a strong blow. In desperation, she decides to marry the unloved Cruchot. However, even after the betrayal of Charles, the girl does not turn into a vindictive embittered woman - the heroine helps her cousin pay off his debts. It was then that Charles learns that Eugenia is the owner of seventeen million. But it's' too late. The heroine becomes Madame Cruchot, who swore before the altar to love and honor her unloved husband. This is what Eugenia did for many years, until Monsieur Cruchot died.

At the end of the novel, we learn that the heroine lives the same life that her father lived. And that, perhaps, she will marry again - a baron is courting a rich bride.

Evgenia has become a person who fits well into the society of money. It cost her a lot of effort, because the soul of the noble and sensitive heroine was completely different, she strove to live according to other ideals. After going through pain, suffering and humiliation, Evgenia became callous, closed, adapted. What else was left for her?

In his novel, Balzac shows us how a cruel soulless society cripples people, makes them unhappy, kills their soul, turning them into gray ruthless shadows. The fate of Eugenia Grande, her love and loneliness is a clear confirmation of this.