The theme of human moral stamina in the story of H. de Balzac “Gobsek” - Honore de Balzac

Essays on literary works - 2023

The theme of human moral stamina in the story of H. de Balzac “Gobsek”
Honore de Balzac

1. Probable reasons for the dissolute behavior of the Countess Resto.

2. As you sow, so shall you reap: the consequences of sin.

3. Atonement.

Never commit evil deeds,

So that you do not have to blush, burning with shame:

You will repent, and yet the rumor will condemn you,

And the world will become small from this judgment.

O. Khayyam

In the story "Gobsek" H. de Balzac showed a situation very typical for the described time and those circles of society to which the Count and Countess Resto belong, as well as Count Maxime de Tray. A society lady, young and rich, took a lover. However, the case was not limited to a simple betrayal of her lawful husband. The lover began to demand from the woman the payment of his numerous debts - the countess sold her jewelry secretly from her husband in order to give money to her lover. Not without hesitation, she did this, as is clear from the content of the story, according to the law, a married woman did not have the right to dispose of her property without the consent of her husband.

The countess is constantly afraid that her husband would not find out about her actions. It is possible that at some point a woman is already beginning to repent of what she has done, perhaps even thinking about obeying her husband, as the young lawyer Derville advised her. It is possible that such a way out would be the best - the husband sincerely loved the countess, maybe he would have forgiven her, seeing her sincere repentance. However, the lover, seeing the countess's hesitations, shamelessly blackmails her, hinting that if she does not give him money to pay his debts, he will commit suicide: “Farewell, dear Anastasi. Be happy. And I ... Tomorrow I will get rid of all worries.

How did it happen that a woman who had everything for happiness - beauty, wealth, position in society, a loving husband - found herself in such an unsightly situation? Let's say love... But the countess is a married woman, she has certain obligations, and not only to her husband, but also to her children, who sincerely love her and whom she herself loves. As a mother, the heroine has to take care to save her wealth for her children. How can you love a man who does nothing but demand money from his beloved?

Probably, the cause of the Countess's sinful passion was boredom, the absence of any serious studies and firm moral principles. The very way of life of the countess, not burdened by any worries, accustomed to satisfying any of her whims, greatly contributed to love adventures. And the man who became her lover is not without a certain charm, which cannot be said about any moral principles: “You won’t see such grace of manners in the whole world ... Women are crazy about him ... Count Maxime de Tray is the strangest creature , for everything suitable and worthless ... a person who can be tormented by worries, but remorse, who is more interested in sensations than thoughts ... a brilliant connecting link between the inhabitants of hard labor and people of high society.

However, it cannot be said about the Countess herself that she, like her lover, does not feel remorse at all. “The image of love poisoned by remorse”, “the countess seemed to be numb, immersed in thought”, “her conscience was not completely dead”, “the countess clearly hesitated” - the author constantly emphasizes the discord that reigns not only in external life, but also in the soul women. Although the love story of the countess is conveyed as it is seen by a third party, the lawyer Derville. even an outsider's glance is enough to understand that much more troubles than joys were brought to the woman by her reprehensible love affair. The unprincipled dandy de Tray shamelessly uses the countess's affection, deftly playing not only on her shortcomings, but also on worthy spiritual qualities.

All the efforts of the countess to hide her misdeed from her husband are in vain. The health of Count Resto, who has learned about his wife's infidelity, suspects, not without reason, that the younger children are not his, is rapidly deteriorating. Wanting to save his fortune for his eldest son, the count made a fictitious deal with the usurer Gobsek. The real punishment for the countess is the suspicion that her husband has deprived her and her younger children of their inheritance. The woman is already repenting of her debauchery. But by an inexorable combination of circumstances, one sin entails another - a woman, by hook or by crook, seeks to take possession of the documents that her husband hides. To do this, the countess tries to use the gullibility of her eldest son, who is equally attached to both parents.But the main punishment awaits the countess after the death of her husband, when she manages to find documents that provide a certain share of the inheritance to all her children. An unclean conscience whispers to a woman that her husband has disinherited her younger children; and the Countess, without reading, throws the documents into the fire. She herself, with her own hand, deprives the children of the state, although in order to ensure their future, she was ready for anything. So the author reveals an important idea - the grain of future retribution is already contained in sin. Pangs of conscience poisoned even the very joys of love, which the countess recklessly indulged in; the woman has become an obedient toy in the hands of her lover, has lost the trust and respect of her husband, is constantly afraid that her children may find out about her unworthy lifestyle. Finally realizing what kind of person her lover is, the Countess experiences excruciating remorse. For such a man she betrayed her husband, betrayed the interests of their children! In the end, in a feverish shock, she herself destroyed the documents that should have been treasured like the apple of her eye.

However, the Countess still managed to get on a worthy path. Even during her husband's illness, a moral turning point occurred in her: “... It is very possible that, like many women who survived a storm of passion, she now sincerely aspired to virtue. Perhaps only then did she know her worth when she reaped the sad harvest of her delusions.

In society, there are unpleasant rumors about the countess - people of her circle remember the sins of her youth, although she completely changed her lifestyle. “The Countess leads a simply heroic life ... She devoted herself entirely to the children, gave them an excellent upbringing and education. Her older sons are a lovely young man.

We see that the countess, despite the condemnation from society, was able to atone for her past sins. Her son Ernest is a devoted and attentive son, he takes care of both his mother and his brother and sister, he is in good standing in the service, and is about to enter into the rights of the inheritance that his father tried so hard to keep for him. Thus, the countess's moral revival allowed her to legally enjoy the respect of her children, and also, probably, to some extent to find peace of mind and harmony.