Gobsek “miser and low creature” - Honore de Balzac

Essays on literary works - 2023

Gobsek “miser and low creature”
Honore de Balzac

For the sake of money, I lost my humanity, respect, my soul. Touching gold, ceases to control himself and loses his mind; robs, humiliates people who are in trouble, becomes the ruler and director of their destinies. A cunning businessman, inaccessible to human passions, lives in a wretched room in an old cloudy house, the fireplace barely smolders, a carbon monoxide lamp on a shabby stand. Gobsek understands what kind of society he lives in, and he needs money in order to feel safe, to have power over people. For the sake of accumulating money, he refuses family, relatives, comfort, i.e. from all the earthly joys of life. The usurer appeases all human feelings in himself, turns into a semiautomatic device, a person-promissory note. He traveled all over the world and made sure that evil reigns everywhere. And he decides to harden his soul for himself, to accumulate money, since this gives everything in Life, and eventually becomes a man who turns into a "golden idol". Greed and stinginess will lead this low creature to human impoverishment, a miserable and inglorious end.

From his youth, Gobsek was a life-loving person, endowed with a natural desire to assert himself in life. Since the age of ten, he has been making severe tests for survival. He showed himself to be a strong-willed and courageous person. The idealism and romantic dreams of the boy collided with the harsh truth of life, where there was no place for the weak, exhausted and worthless. Developed a deep analytical mind, able to assess the level of personality of others (Derville himself or Fanny Malva, using such words as “cute girlish image”, “simple creature”).

An outstanding figure, knows life and the world. A naturally gifted man, Gobsek traded paintings - he knew a lot about art. He is familiar with classical literature - he takes an example from Moliere; was captured by the beauty of the diamonds of the Comtesse de Resto. Created his own philosophy of life; “There is only one reliable earthly good that has the highest value, and that is gold.” It becomes sad that a smart and noble person, who knew how to appreciate beauty and art, directs all his talent to the fanatical accumulation of wealth. He "fell into childhood and discovered the inconceivable tenacity that develops in all old people possessed by a strong passion that outlasts their minds."

I am attracted to the character of Derville because, being a successful lawyer, he marries Fanny Malva, a seamstress, a modest, hard-working girl.” You will never achieve anything, but you will be the happiest and most decent of people.”

Gobsek dies at 89. The life and death of the “golden idol” prompts us to ask a series of questions: Who are we? why are we here? what is our mission on earth? Holiness must be in the spiritual, not in the material. The Bible gives us an understanding of the role of money in our lives. We need to listen to it so as not to make mistakes, not to become cruel, not to strive to accumulate money for the sake of money. It only seems to a person that she will not become greedy, that money will not turn her into a “golden idol”. It is not true. Then the Bible wouldn't say anything about money. And it says: “The love of money is the root of all dashing. 8, And as we have food and clothing, then we are satisfied with that. 9. And those who want to get rich fall into temptation and into numerous unreasonable and harmful greed that push people to death. 10. Since the root of all dashing is the love of money, to which, having surrendered, some of the people renounced the faith and took upon themselves great suffering. 18 ... to do good, to be rich in good deeds, to be generous ... ”(The First Epistle of St. Apostle Paul to Timothy. Bible. 1980, p. 243).